I reach for my phone subconsciously every few moments, no matter what notifications I have to read or respond to. I soothe myself by saying that this behavior is not uncommon; it is widely endemic, especially in modern societies where phones play a major part in our lives.
However, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 has been instrumental in helping me break the unhealthy habit of checking my phone frequently, especially when all I need is to abate boredom. The upgrades over the Galaxy Flip 3 make it a much more desirable
Phones take too much headspace — but do we have a choice?
We are far more dependent on smartphones than we care to admit. We jitter instantly at the thought of losing them, and even a few moments of being awa from themy can inflict separation anxiety. Our emotional attachment to our phones leans into the realm of unhealthy dependence, and many experts liken this fixation to substance abuse.
With our phones getting more competent than ever, accomplishing almost everything on them and juggling between different tasks at hand has become a frictionless drill. But our phones creep through more than just our work. Entertainment — the primordial cure for boredom — is among the biggest utilities of our smartphones. We find movies, music, games, and a gushing flood of information to keep us titillated, yet we constantly seek more but never feel satisfied.
In moments of reflection, I hold myself guilty of relinquishing my attention to mind-numbing scrolls on Twitter, frivolous games, and dog videos to spike my dwindling serotonin levels. The realization is — to say the least — unpleasant, which is why I prefer to avoid such poignant and torturous epiphanies. It is much easier to feel amused by crushing candies or watching videos of ninja cats aor people slamming into a pole while walking because they were looking at their phones instead of paying attention to where they were going.
After you’re done laughing at the video, you might also realize that is us as a society; we are constantly looking down into our phones, careening through our daily lives to accommodate our phones so they can participate in every activity with us, record us, and help us share these moments almost immediately.
So, what’s the solution? While some phones like the Palm Phone have tried (and failed) to combat nonstop phone usage, Samsung has proven to have the right idea with the
Below, I list a few reasons why it might be a great phone for anyone who’s too invested in smartphones to completely give up using one while still being inclined to cut back on their phone usage.
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 limits notification overload
As I have admitted above, I habitually pick up my phone and start to use it aimlessly, often out of boredom. But on a deeper level, this compulsive habit of checking my phone every few minutes — sometimes right after I have put it down — comes from the pressure to stay connected and on top of all my notifications.
One gaze at the lock screen to check the notifications quickly morphs into checking notifications on social media. And before I can take note, I have already scrolled past about a dozen posts on Instagram or Twitter.
I receive hundreds of notifications (notwithstanding Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit, for which I have turned off push notifications). To escape this tumultuous inflow, I rely on
With each notification that nabs my attention, there is a possibility for me to give into my nomophobia (NO MObile PHOne phoBIA) and the fear of missing out (FOMO). For anyone less than a Zen master, that desire is flirtatious enough to entrap them at least once or twice in hundreds of notifications. For me, the number is much, much higher.
To my surprise, the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s cover screen has helped me curb these urges significantly in the past month that I have used it as my primary
Thankfully, the phone shows only one app icon at a time when a new notification arrives. The notification panel, too, is separate from the primary clock widget on the cover screen, so you do not readily see icons for all apps that have sent notifications. You do not see previews for most notifications when you swipe to the notifications widget, and the notifications panel only shows the three newest notifications at once, forcing you to scroll for more.
This primitive and crude method of showing notifications makes it immensely easy to focus on important notifications and only flip the phone open when there is a notification from an important app. You can even view time, check reminders, set or change alarms, and control the currently playing media right from the outer screen — and these controls prevent you from flipping the phone unnecessarily.
You only need to open the phone when necessary
Sometimes, the ambiguity of whether a particular message is crucial or not makes us give into the desire to look at the phone’s display. When that happens, my flailing attention has already severed because of a string of notifications, and I have been yanked out of focus.
Honestly, a major chunk of these notifications are not worth the attention. And this realization rushes in with a sense of regret. In rare moments of frustration or emotional volatility, this regret can also welcome a flurry of negative emotions, including but not limited to self-criticism and self-loathing.
In contrast, flipping open the
Closing the Flip 4 means something
Completion is also satisfying for the mind. Whenever we finish a task — whether small or large, a neurotransmitter called dopamine is released in our brain. Dopamine is traditionally linked with the brain’s reward center — and how (usually unhealthy) pleasures trigger a dopamine release, giving the chemical a bad rap. More recent research, however, shows dopamine is associated with motivation and persistence to achieve a reward instead of the reward itself.
Although the way this chemical prompts us to take action is fairly complex, the physical indication of completing a task on your phone could inspire us to keep the phone down more often when we don’t necessarily need it.
Drastically limiting my phone usage
With all these things now laid out, it is unavoidable to talk about one aspect: you have to open the phone for every important task. As I mentioned above, this can be extremely frustrating, especially in your earlier days of usage. Eventually, it conditions you to keep the Galaxy Flip 4 folded when you are not using it. While you can keep the phone unfolded at all times, concerns about the sturdiness of foldable displays will incite you to flip it back — unless you are actively using it.
Thankfully, there are surefire ways to run apps — even games — on the
Because of this, my screen time from my previous daily driver — Galaxy S22 Ultra — has gone down from about six to seven hours daily to less than four hours on the Flip 4.
A dynamic solution to save the day
The flexibility to ignore notification and deciding whether you actually need to use the phone or not has a compound effect in the case of the
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: everything we know and what we want to see
- 5 things this $1,100 foldable does better than the Galaxy Z Fold 4
- The 9 biggest phones we’re still expecting in 2023: iPhone 15, Pixel 8, and more
- Latest Galaxy Z Flip 5 leak shows a big screen upgrade
- Could this be our first look at the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5?