Do you ever long for the simpler life? There was a time when things were slower paced and simpler. Then you look at your mobile phone filled with applications you downloaded and never use — all those text messages, emails and notes that are no longer relevant. How many pictures on your phone are really not worth keeping? Their only function is to make it hard to find what you do need. And another meal is interrupted by a text or phone call…
At home, the larger the storage area, the more we seem to store. Moving to a new or smaller home requires cleaning out the stuff we no longer need. The digital comparison is that many phones and computers have almost unlimited storage, which means we seldom need to “clean house” to remove unneeded things that are getting in our way.
What might digital “cleaning house” look like?
Most emails are no longer needed or were never needed in the first place. The emails can be deleted or archived (just in case). Unsubscribe to email lists that you don’t read. If they keep coming anyway, add them to your junk filter.
By their nature, most text messages have limited value once they are read. If you receive a text message with a confirmation code (two-factor authentication) you can delete it immediately. Most other messages also have no value after they are read.
To delete an entire Messages conversation on iPhone (IOS 7+), open Messages and go to the conversation. Touch “Edit” in the upper left corner. Tap the circle to the left of the conversation you want to delete so it turns to a check mark. Press the “Delete” in the lower right corner. (If you change your mind – press “cancel” before the “Delete”.)
To delete specific text messages and not all in the Messages conversation, tap and hold on the message you want to delete. When the menu appears, select “More”. Circles will appear to the left of each individual text message. Select the ones you want to delete. Press the trash can in the lower left corner. Confirm by pressing the “Delete” message that appears.
How Many Apps Do You Use on Your iPhone?
iTunes used to make it easy to arrange Apps by category. Apple took that function away. They did add the ability to “Offload Unused Apps” that does not remove the data.
On the iPhone, go from SETTINGS >> General >> iPhone Storage to arrive at the screen pictured at the right. In this example, there is 64.5 GB in use and offloading 16.2 GB of unused Apps would free up 25% of the used memory without removing the associated data. You can reload the App later and use the associated data. If you have a phone with 64G, that can make a world of difference. Even if you do not have a memory issue, you can free up space on your screen to find the Apps you do use.
The storage for your other Apps are also listed so you can choose to remove the data or the App if you are not using them.
If you have notifications turned on on your phone, it’s easy to look like a trained monkey in a lab experiment. Every time there’s a notification, we react. Unless you have small children with a babysitter, you do not need to respond instantly. You can turn off email notices so you only look at them when you have time or interest.
Choosing to silence text messages at meals and other times is also an option. Placing the phone in “Airplane Mode” during dinner is an example. One of my daughters does “phone stacking” with her friends. When having drinks or a meal, they stack their phones in the center of the table. The first person to use their phone picks up the tab for the meal/drinks. It is a strong incentive and it works.
Do Not Disturb
If you have not discovered the “Do Not Disturb” feature, check it out. You can set times of the day or night you do not want to receive calls. Mine is set from 10:00 PM to 6:30 AM. You can make exceptions for the contacts on your phone, or your Favorites list on your phone. If someone calls twice in 3 minutes you can allow them to get through. If you are in an important all-day meeting or other event, you can easily adjust the start and stop times to control interruptions. There is also the ability turn on “Do Not Disturb” while driving.