The Simple Joy of “No Phones Allowed” (from


Hey! One of my favorite blogs has posted an interesting article about the effect phones have on our lifes: The Simple Joy of “No Phones Allowed”.

Here are some of my favorite parts:

Essentially, we all have a risk-free ripcord we can pull at the first pang of boredom or desire for novelty, and of course those pangs occur constantly.

[…] when you add a small, immediate cost to unlocking your phone (in this case a twenty-second walk to the concourse), it suddenly isn’t worth doing.

I’m pretty sure a lot of people can relate to this. As soon as you put up a small “barrier” between you and your phone, it’s not nearly as enticing to use it anymore. That’s why it’s generally advised to put your phone outside of your bedroom as the few steps you have to make to use your phone in bed is enough to stop you from using it alltogether (just to name an example that utilizes this method).

This one, however, is by far my favorite:

I imagine that in another decade or two we’ll look at 2010s-era device use something like we do now with cigarette smoking. I was born in 1980, and I remember smoking sections on planes, which is unthinkable today. I wonder if today’s kids will one day vaguely remember the brief, bizarre time when people didn’t think twice about lighting up a screen in the middle of a darkened concert hall.

With already multiple studies being released linking phone usage to mental and physical health problems, it’s only a matter of time until we get even more concrete evidence of this connection. I also find the comparison to society’s previous acceptance of smoking in public places very fitting!


I think this is a great metaphor.

I will definitely try to charge my phone outside my bedroom tonight. There’s been a reason why I hadn’t done it before, but figure it doesn’t hurt to experiment a little bit.


You should absolutely try it! I’ve been doing this for the past week or so and while I’ve never really had a problem with my phone usage (especially not while I’m in bed) but having your phone out of your reach is weirdly relaxing.


Yes, I must say it worked pretty well. I kept it charging near my door and lay the phone flat on top of my bookcase, which is ~2m high.
In the corridor next to my room I have no open charging points, which was a bit of a pain in the ass. Since I need to have my phone near my bedside lamp, which tracks my sleep and communicate through Bluetooth which has a distance of 10 meters.

In the future, I’d like to setup an old phone just with this purpose and have no internet connection. One could of course not track his sleep, but I find to have great value in doing so.

Another thing I tried, is shutdown mobile internet and wifi after bed time and it won’t activate automatically until lunchtime. If I really need to reach out, I could, by activating the internet again. But having this setting as a default has helped me not use my phone as the first thing in the morning.


Most tech companies use Stanford professor BJ Fogg’s work as the basis for their designs. One of his primary discoveries was that the primary determinant in behavior is convenience. Meaning if we can eliminate as many barriers between the user taking an action then that action will occur a lot more. (While writing this I’m unsure if it was actually BJ Fogg who said this but I think I’m recalling this correctly.)

A practical example of this is Amazon’s “One Click” button, it makes it a lot easier for people to purchase things so people end up buying a lot more.

So when it comes to smartphone use and internet use in general, if you go the opposite way and make things as inconvenient as possible it can cut down on a surprising amount of your screen time. Focus on identifying and creating as many barriers between you and internet use as possible.

I’ve found that there’s a massive difference between turning my phone completely off vs. just keeping it on silent.

Turning my iPhone on requires me to hold the button and then wait 10-15 seconds whereas checking it when it’s on silent is instantaneous. That small difference in convenience actually makes a massive impact.

I feel much more true mental calmness and like I’ve managed to “break away” from it mentally and focus on what I’m working on. When it’s just on silent I feel like a part of my mind is still subtly wondering if new notifications have come in and also wants to check something on it for the brief moment of distraction.

So try it next time you have to focus on something. Turn your phone off for an hour or so and put it somewhere far away and out of sight while working.


I totally agree that it’s relaxing and yet weirdly almost never do it. I think I will start trying this now.