As I mentioned in my revised proposal, I separated my apps into three categories in order to better evaluate my phone usage. After recording data for 3 days, here are my initial results.
Over the three days observed, I used just over a third of my apps. It seems the categories I designated were pretty accurate, since 13 of the 14 used each day were in the first category, everyday use (the last one was in the second category). However, this information doesn’t mean much, only that I’m mostly aware of what apps I tend to use more.
An unintended observation I noted was about my patience level. Moving app my apps around to different folders seriously threw me off for the first day or so. Even though I had designated the categories I thought appropriate, I still spent a lot of time swiping back and forth trying to find various apps. It frustrated me a bit until I realized that most of the apps I really wanted to use anyways were pretty easily accessible on the “home page.”
By the second day, I was starting to think a bit more before opening any apps. The total number of apps I used that day was down by about 20% because I was actually considering my actions before doing them. I used mostly category 1 apps that day. Every time I went to open the other category folders, I stopped and thought if I really needed to use a specific app, or if I was just trying to kill time.
I still aimlessly scroll through Twitter and refresh my email far too often, but my more considered app usage has made me think about the way I consume new media. Although I still love being connected through email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all that, I’ve also thought a bit more this week about the value of disconnecting, or at least slowing down.