Rob Rhinehart's Smartphone Takedown

After his last controversial post on outsourcing his life, Soylent developer Rob Rhinehart is back with an altogether more grounded piece on the problems of smartphones in modern life and how he has got around them.

The starting point, as ever, is how notifications were causing his smartphone to take over his life. There's a key piece of learning here, for anyone who uses a smartphone. Manage your notifications, before they take over your life. The point when you know you've failed? The day you have to strap on a smartwatch.

There are very few time-sensitive methods of communication that we need notifications for. One is text messaging - still the only universally supported way of getting a message almost instantly to a third party without having to know what phone or service they are using. You can safely enable text message alerts, on some platforms you can even enable them on a per contact basis. So when your phone beeps you know its someone you want to take notice of.

If you use another instant messenger solution, that's a reasonable thing to have alert you as well. Email is not. Nor are Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, or any other similar service.

Life isn't found in the small screen of your smartphone, life is found in the people around you, family, friends and acquaintances.


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