Most phones have built-in digital detox features that actually work

Digital detox - Smartphone screen time

Even simply using a phone in grayscale mode helps to make the experience less appealing overall.

Taking a digital detox is becoming an increasingly popular activity as smartphones are proving to be too attractive for us to put down for more than short spans at a time.

From social media to videos and falling down research rabbit holes, hours can easily be lost daily.

A 2021 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center determined that more than 30 percent of adults in the United States reported that they were online “almost constantly.” This helps to show why a digital detox has such a draw. Looking up from a screen isn’t as easy as it sounds, but we do reach the point that we feel we need to disconnect for a while.

While both iOS and Android operating systems both come with built-in tools meant to help people to reduce their screen time, most users don’t know they’re there or, if they do, how to get the most out of them. The tools don’t seem as though they should make much of a difference, but people who have given them a try have discovered that they have made a difference.

Digital detox - Putting Smartphone Away

Certain tools help people with a digital detox simply by reducing overall screen time.

The following are some of the tools that are built into the main smartphone operating systems to help people to reduce their screen time more effectively so that there is less of an overall need for extended deliberate efforts to disconnect.

These include:

  • Using grayscale phone screen options to render everything in shades of gray. Everything will still be visible, but it won’t be as visually stimulating, making it easier to draw yourself away from it.
  • App time limits. Phones have options to either limit the amount of time during which an app can be used. This feature can also be used to temporarily disable certain apps if you want to be able to stop yourself from accessing it at all for a certain length of time.
  • Distraction-free settings can help to turn a smartphone into a “dumb phone” so that texting and phone calls are still possible, but other features are blocked out for a forced digital detox for a predetermined amount of time.

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