Digital Minimalism 

20. November 2018

The world changed, I agree. Even I fell into the trap, but life is still going on. Things are still happening and we are missing out. Funnily enough, Wien Tourismus came up with an interesting campaign with this exact topic. See Vienna. Not #Vienna. It can be hard though, especially for people like me (or us at the office) whose jobs are almost 100% phone or computer dependent. Pens and paper play practically no role in our office anymore.

We should all take a moment and think about how serious this issue has become on our daily lives. Have you ever tried checking the hours you spend on your apps? Did you even know you can do this? There are ways to minimize this situation we are all stuck in. There are different ways to minimize the time we spend staring at our screens (ironically looking at a screen, but oh well…) or the amount of information we receive daily. That, luckily, is still up to us… for now at least!

A good starting point would be setting your own limits. For example, allow yourself some “offline” time before going to bed. There are many professionals who assure that it is a must to allow our brain to screen-rest before going to bed. Allow your brain to unplug. Remember how exciting finishing a book was? We tend to associate reading books with holidays, but no. Reading should be part of our daily routines.

Setting limits should also apply to children. Unfortunately, there are parents that “keep their children busy” by allowing them to play with their phones or tablets. Children need limits too. Children need time to create and imagine by themselves. Boredom is great for them, here’s why.

“Boredom truly can lead to brilliance” – Manoush Zomorodi

Push notifications OFF. They are incredibly distracting. I am not a friend of notifications. In fact, mine are completely off. Except for calls and messages which could obviously mean something important, work or family. All the rest can wait until the end of the day. Thank you for your understanding.

Keep your devices clean. Not literally of course, but more like your browser. Are you sure you need 25 open tabs at the same time? I am sure I am definitely not solo on this one. Not only your browser though. No one likes the ugly “Your phone storage is almost full” message. So, go through your Apps and think – When was the last time I used it? I am sure you will find at least 3 of them that play absolutely no role on your phone.

Remember when WhatsApp didn’t even exist and we had to squeeze a full message into 160 characters? Remember that there was no way to know if the other person had read or received the SMS? Remember that your life went on without any problems? You can actually allow yourself a real-live revival of these times. All you have to do is select the “Nobody” option. How to do it: Open WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Privacy > Last seen / Read Receipts

Treat yourself, click unsubscribe. (Unless it’s mit Handkuss weekly subscription of course!) But besides news, when have you ever read a Newsletter or clicked on it? Do you really need it or can you get that information from somewhere else? Like the newspaper on your way to the office for example? Or the radio in the car? Simplify your notifications and the amount of information that makes it to your inbox. You definitely don’t need all those Newsletters.

Last but least, did you know that there are Apps (contradictory I know…) that help you stay away from you’re your phone? We even just found out that the new iPhone update has introduced these option into their system. There are ways to block your phone for a certain time or lock Apps for as long as you want.

So, to find out how addicted you are on your iPhone go to > Settings > Screen Time (New option!).

Also, here are two interesting Apps you could consider:

Moment – This app shows you exactly how many minutes you spent on your phone daily, also the time you picked it up and for how long. Each morning you can receive a notification with the information from the day before and quite frankly, getting messages that tell you, you’ve spent 6 hours of a whole day on your phone, does not make me feel very proud. As Manoush Zomorodi said on her TEDtalk last year; we shouldn’t forget that the iPhone was invented as a tool, not an entertainment.

Forest – This app allows to grow a tree while using their app or kill it if you use your phone before time (virtually of course!). They even offer the option to plant a real tree. You can select when not to use your phone or specific apps. At the office, with friends or while studying are some of the moments they suggest you as a perfect time to use this app.


Das nicht mehr alles das Gleiche ist wie früher, ist klar. Auch ich habe ein neues Gadget in der Tasche, das zwar Vieles einfacher macht, aber auch sehr viel Zeit am Tag frisst. Zwar kann man jetzt auf Papier und Stift verzichten, jedoch passiert es sehr leicht, dass man durch die Straßen geht und nur noch #Wien anstatt Wien sieht.

Um dieses Problem ein bisschen einzuschränken ein paar Tipps:

Bücher: Gibt es etwas spannenderes, als die letzten Seiten von einem guten Buch vor dem schlafen gehen zu lesen? So spannend, dass man gar nicht mehr aufhören kann. Also, Handy weg und Buch in die Hand. Mindestens 1 Kapitel pro Tag!

Kinder: Es gibt tatsächlich andere Möglichkeiten ein Kind zu unterhalten, anstatt ihm ein Smartphone in die Hand zu drücken. Wieso wird es heutzutage als normal angesehen wenn ein Kleinkind schon perfekt mit einem Smartphone umgehen kann? Manchmal sollte einem auch langweilig sein!

Mitteilungen ausschalten: Diese Maßnahme habe ich schon vor langer Zeit ergriffen. So lange es kein Notfall ist (in dem ein Anruf sinnvoller ist), kann es bis zum Abend warten.

Ausmisten: Seien es Safari Tabs oder unbenützte Apps – weg damit. Clean phone, clean mind. (So ging das ungefähr, oder?)

Es gibt viele Leute die es persönlich nehmen, wenn man ihnen nicht in der Sekunde auf Whatsapp antwortet. Hast du Lust auf ein bisschen mehr Zeit zum antworten obwohl man die Nachricht schon gelesen hat? Um die guten alten SMS-Zeiten wiederzubeleben: Whatsapp > Einstellungen > Account > Datenschutz > Lesebestätigungen ausschalten. Keine blauen Häkchen mehr!

Weg mit den ganzen Newslettern! Es gibt andere Informationsquellen als Spam im Mail Ordner.

Ironischerweise sind meine letzten Tipps tatsächlich Apps. Mit dem neuesten iPhone-Softwareupdate kann man zwar viele diese Dinge schon tun, aber falls ihr, so wie ich, wegen all den unnützen Apps keinen Speicher für ein Update habt:

Moment – eine sehr gemeine App. Jeden Tag in der Früh eine Benachrichtigung, wie viele Stunden man am Vortag am Handy verbracht hat. Kein schöner Anblick.

Forest – Während einer selbst eingestellten Zeit wird das Handy gesperrt und ein Baum wächst auf dem Bildschirm – verwendet man das Handy in dieser Zeit wird er getötet. Zwar ist es kein echter Baum, aber warum nicht eine schöne Grafik am Bildschirm haben um seine Selbstdisziplin zu trainieren?

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  • Reply #ViralStory: The Power Of Social Media – mit Handkuss 29. November 2018 at 18:38

    […] speak about Digital Minimalism and what we could do to be less abducted by phones and social media. I even wrote a love letter to […]

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