Apple’s Chief Design Officer Says You’re Using Your iPhone Wrong

Apple exec Jony Ive knows the iPhone better than anyone. And here's the big mistake he says most users are making.

iphone macrohurricanehank/Shutterstock

Jony Ive, chief design officer at Apple, says that we're using our phones too much.

This might come as a surprise, being that Ives has a clear financial incentive for wanting people to have their faces permanently buried in his product. But at the New Yorker Techfest conference, when David Remnick, editor-in-chief of the magazine, asked Ive to assess the iPhone's impact on the world, Ives replied, "Like any tool, you can see there's wonderful use and then there's misuse." When Remnick asked Ives to define misuse and he answered, "Perhaps, constant use."

Ive is not exaggerating when he says constant use. Some studies show that the average person spends 3.3 hours a day on their phone, checking it every 10 minutes for social media updates, messages, and more.

Ive doesn't think we should be using our phones so much, and it turns out that the late Steve Jobs, the father of the iPhone, would probably feel the same way. In an analysis of Jobs' 2007 introduction of the iPhone to the world, The New York Times writer Cal Newport explains: "The presentation confirms that Mr. Jobs envisioned a simpler and more constrained iPhone experience than the one we actually have over a decade later. For example, he doesn't focus much on apps. When the iPhone was first introduced there was no App Store, and this was by design. As Andy Grignon, an original member of the iPhone team, told me when I was researching this topic, Mr. Jobs didn't trust third-party developers to offer the same level of aesthetically pleasing and stable experiences that Apple programmers could produce. He was convinced that the phone's carefully designed native features were enough. It was 'an iPod that made phone calls,' Mr. Grignon said to me."

As we all know, the iPhone has become much more than a phone that plays music. It's become, well, everything. We use our phones for communication, entertainment, navigation, banking, social media…the list goes on and on. Some experts warn about digital addiction, particularly for teens, which can bring about depression, anxiety, and a decreased desire to interact with people, among many other adverse effects. Not to mention that fact that many companies are using your phone to track your every move.

Victoria L. Dunckley, a psychiatrist who writes about the effects of screen time, says that reducing on time spent with our noses in a device can positively impact our sleep, creativity, and overall happiness. As soon as you're finished reading this article, try it! Here are some ways to have a healthy relationship with your phone and social media.

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