Data Detox Day 6: Feeling ‘appy.

It’s Monday and I’m back at my Data Detox habit– just a few days left! Today is Day 6 and my task is to clean out the apps on my phone.

First, Data Detox asked me to count up the apps on my phone. Full disclosure: I love trying new apps. In the old days, when I worked in Technology full time, my job gave me a smartphone that I definitely used to try all the new ed tech free apps constantly. Alas, now that I’m a literacy type the phone is not justified and now everything lands on my personal device. It turns out this habit has, like a lot of habits I’ve unearthed in this data detox, gotten a little out of hand.

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Hand me the App block! I’m about to get an app burn! 

As I started counting up all the apps I have installed, I got to the 60s and wasn’t  beyond the “e’s” in the alphabetical list of apps on my phone. My exposure, I concluded, was HIGH.

Next up, Data Detox suggested I ask myself the following quesitons about the apps on my phone:

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In order to answer quesiton number 1, I went to the battery feature on my phone and looked at the last 7 days–how much of my battery was used up on each of the apps I am regularly using seemed like a good, objetive metric about when I last used it. Turns out I only regularly used 27 apps on the phone and I knew all the rest of the answers to questions 2-5 for these specific ones. I felt very comfortable keeping these particular apps (you will remove Pokemon Go from my cold dead hands. Team Mystic for Life. Also 26% of my phone use is on this app, more than any other app I have on my phone.).  While looking at the battery usage wasn’t a tip in Data Detox, it’s a habit I’ve developed from using the Moment app, which tracks my and my family’s usage in order to get some control back from our devices. It collects app use data, never location data, and much of the data is kept locally and not sent to Moment’s servers. I trust the app developer and like the privacy policy. I have not found a better alternative that uses the data the way I approve of. And the benefits are that I am more in control of my phone use and my family is having great conversations about our roles and responsibilities to the family versus the device.  It is a good reminder, however, that I keep checking on apps I’m using often to see if there is a better alternative.

To cap off today, I deleted a bunch o’ apps (they even gave instructions for anyone who might never have had to do this before. I love making the apps wiggle, so this wasn’t new for me.). Additionally, I am considering trying to make people use alternative messaging apps with me, since the Data Detox folks made this nice Alternative App Centre to play around with.


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