How much screen time?

The last two weeks have been odd, to say the least. I mean, for me, the day-to-day rhythm feels pretty close to normal. Staying at home for days in a row is something I'm used to. But in every other sense, things have changed. Rather than been annoyed or frustrated, I've tried to approach this entire situation as an opportunity to rest. That can be hard when you have young kids at home, but I am finding not having to drive people to various events fives nights a week has been peaceful. We've developed a daily routine that gets everyone…

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RescueTime for iOS

I’ve been using RescueTime for a few years now, and I have come to appreciate it. But for whatever reason, I never had any desire to install the version for iOS. Until recently. What I like about itThe app tracks your pickups and how much time you spend on your device. I like the way it summarizes the pickups — both the total and the location and timing of them. It’s a nice way to visualize how much you’re reaching for the phone. But where the real value of the iOS comes into play for me is how…

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One month with a dumbed down phone

It’s been one month since I turned my phone into a device that, for the most part, does not give me any new content. No email, no social media, no RSS, and not even any work communication. A few people have asked how it’s going. In a word, lovely. Absolutely lovely. Since iOS debuted Screen Time, our family has reviewed the numbers for anyone who owns a device (4 out of 6 of us). I’ve been tracking this since October and we mostly use it for talking about screen usage and addiction, not telling our kids how…

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The dumb phone I already own

The act of replacing one’s smart phone with a less capable version is a growing trend. As digital decluttering and internet detoxes become more popular, so too is making the more permanent change of having less capability in your pocket at all times. Some people will pull out an old Nokia from their drawer, some will pick up the latest flip phone (they still make these?), and some will try one of few new options available in this category (i.e. the Light phone). Me? I’ve kicked the idea around a few times. I gave it serious consideration…

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Habits of mind in an age of distraction

My wife listens to a lot of shows on CBC radio (the Canadian equivalent of NPR). Over the holidays she was sharing some details from an interview Nora Young of Spark conducted with Alan Jacobs. It piqued my interest and led to me checking out Alan’s site. And that led to this article here, one of the best pieces of writing I’ve found in recent years. The sub-heading to the article says it all: Small steps to meet the challenge of hearing God in a technologically disruptive environment.It’s a long read that touches on a lot…

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Designing Twist: The challenge of making teamwork less stressful

I haven’t used this service, but I sure appreciate the thinking behind it. The team at Doist (the creators of Todoist) noticed how Slack was changing how they worked: When our remote team started using Slack three years ago, we experienced the subtle but real impact that design has on behavior. From its free-flowing chat channels to its one-line-at-a-time message composers, everything about Slack was designed to keep you communicating with your team in real-time, all the time. (It’s not surprising that the team behind Slack originally designed game apps).So they decided to improve things. Enter Twist.…

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