Envelope, please: Google wants to kill your smartphone habit

Curing your smartphone addiction could be as simple as printing out a sheet of paper.


January 22, 2020

If you drop your phone in the toilet and want to dry it out, sock that sucker in rice. If you want to cure your phone addiction so you don’t use it while sitting on the can, stuff it in an envelope.

That last bit of advice comes courtesy of Google, which just unveiled a low-tech balm for our smartphone-addled noggins: a printable paper sleeve

Google’s not the first outfit to take aim at your phone…

… but it may be one of the largest. A small army of self-help gurus and entrepreneurs wants to help you kick the habit. Instead of wasting time swiping, you could:

  • Read a book, for once in your life. “Break up with your phone” is an entire genre.
  • Try a detox package. A digital cleanse might pair well with one of those tiny cocktail kits.
  • Buy some pointless plastic. Meet the NoPhone and the NoPhone Air (yes, they actually exist).

Dumbphone tech isn’t all gimmicks

Schools, musicians, and comedians use Yondr’s lockable pouches to keep people off their phones.

But it turns out that going cold turkey can have unintended consequences. After some schools locked their students’ devices away, the kids came down with a major case of phone withdrawal.

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