Disconnecting from the smartphone daily

Even before I started reading 12 Ways Your Smart Phone is Changing You*, I’ve had a strong desire to break the chains locking me to my cell phone. This is not as easy as it sounds, as you might guess. I use my phone for so much of my work, 2 sources of income are literally all app-based. So it’s a little tricky.

My plan lately is to have a certain time I shut my phone off, and then a certain time I power it back on in the morning. I guess most habits take time to develop, right? So this is turning into a marathon, not a sprint.

Original plan: off at 10pm, on at 8am

Is it working? Wellllllllllllll, some days it does, others, not so much. I’m still tweaking the routine but I’m determined to make this a priority for my daily life. I don’t want to be a slave to this device! It’s a fantastic tool for work, as I mentioned above about the jobs I have that are app-based, and can help keep in touch with people all over the world… but real life is happening all around me, not just in my small Nokia smartphone.

Do you have any methods of “disconnecting” that have worked for you? Chime in below and let me know!

*As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission for any purchases made through links in this post, at no additional cost to you*

-Out of the Wilderness

Removing Google search bar on Android

If you have an Android device like I do, first of all you’re awesome, and secondly, you may have noticed in a recent update there’s a handy dandy search bar locked in at the bottom of your home screen. As customizable as phones are, I hated to say “locked in” but that’s exactly the case! Take a look at my home screen and see what I’m talking about at the bottom.


Something about it is just awkward. Maybe it’s too close to the 3 bottom touch buttons. Is it one of those things we’ll grow to like and then wonder how we ever survived without it being at the bottom? Time will tell, but one thing is for sure– without third-party help, SearchBarGate is a real thing and per to my conversation with Nokia support (I have a Nokia 6.1), the search bar cannot be moved, removed, or in any way fixed. Here’s the conversation.


I have to give kudos to Nokia for having sympathy, and appearing to be as annoyed as I am with #SearchBarGate.

Also kudos to you for searching out my books on Amazon… great Christmas gifts for children you love, or even just sorta like.

Ok, there is a solution to this dilemma Google has caused. I found a message board that recommends Nova Launcher, an app that can be used to customize your phone’s home screen, apps, and most importantly, remove the search bar. I’ve downloaded it and so far so good. I’ll update more as the ongoing saga continues but until then, keep being your awesome self… and if you feel motived to make a change, voice your complaints in the social atmospheres using #SearchBarGate.

Any advice or tricks up your sleeve, share in the comments below!

-Out of the Wilderness