8 Ways to Digitally Detox

Must. Keep. Playing. Candy Crush.

Anti-Tech Tech

A recent Gallup poll found that 81% of smartphone users like to keep their devices with them “almost all the time during waking hours”. We’re going state the obvious – 81% of smartphone users need to take a break from the pings, rings, and vibrations. Here are eight products that can help.

Fashion Forward

Stay connected, stay fashionable and stay focused with Ringly, a smart ring that alerts you only to the most significant of your smartphone notifications. For example, Ringly can be customized to vibrate and light up when your children call, your Uber arrives, or a meeting is starting – any notifications you mark as important in the ring’s corresponding app. The wearable is now available for pre-order and will ship this summer.

Shut It Down

Moment is an iOS app that allows users to track their smartphone usage and set daily goals. If your self-control is weak, you can even program the app to kick you off your device with repeated notifications if you go over your set goal, though the feature is easily turned off in case of emergency. Meanwhile, Android app Digital Detach locks users out of all apps on their phone, allowing only calls and texts.

iPhone Insecurity

Perhaps you want to disconnect, but feel empty without the comforting curves of your iPhone. Then the NoPhone – a “simulated” smartphone (actually just a block of plastic) is for you. Though lacking any sort of calling, texting, or data abilities, the NoPhone is conveniently shatterproof, waterproof, and never needs to be charged. Originally funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, over 3,000 smartphone addicts around the world have ordered a NoPhone.

Off the Grid

Berlin-based startup OFFTIME allows you to restrict your smartphone with the peace of mind that you still won’t miss anything or offend anyone. With the app, you can select people and apps to put on your whitelist, so they can still be in contact or accessible even when OFFTIME restricts everything else. Otherwise, anyone who tries to contact you will receive an auto-reply SMS – after you end OFFTIME, the app sends you a detailed list of missed phone activity.

Reclaiming Mealtime

We all know that smartphones are slowly killing traditional mealtime conversation. That’s why Australian pasta sauce brand Dolmio invented a pepper grinder that blocks wifi. Sadly, the product is still in prototype phase. Until then, you can get by with DinnerMode, an app that makes a game out of ignoring your phone.

Simplicity’s Sake

The LightPhone is a credit-card sized phone designed to make and receive phone calls. That’s it. Billed as “your phone away from phone” and promising a 20-day battery life, the LightPhone allows you to minimize distractions while still staying in reach. With an app, you can forward calls from your smartphone to the LightPhone, which operates with a SIM card. Priced at $100, the phone can be used as a stand-alone device or as a second option, when you just need to disengage.


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