Hiding Your Battery Percentage Could Make You More Zen

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In the age of the smartphone, with those big flashy screens and attention-grabbing apps, battery life is always at a premium. For most of us, it’s not a matter of if our phones will go dead at some point during the day, but when. Closing apps won’t help, and you may not be ready to give up your battery-draining Facebook habit. So maybe you should try a new tactic: Just relax and stop looking at your battery’s percentage status.

On iPhones, the battery percentage display is a default option, not a mandatory feature, and The Next Web editor Juan Buis suggests you simply disable it, putting yourself on the road to self-phone actualization. “It’s a very simple trick that helps with reducing stress and keeps your focus on more important things,” he writes. (Android users might already be less stressed, since they have to manually enable the percentage status.)

To test that theory, I went into my iPhone’s settings and made the battery percentage status disappear. That tiny number at the top right of my screen went away, allowing me to notice—for seriously the first time since buying an iPhone in 2013—that there’s an icon near the Bluetooth and battery symbols that tells you if your alarm is set. Already, my smartphone life was benefiting from that lack of numeric distraction.

Over the course of a phone-heavy three-day weekend (so many plans to make, adjust, and cancel in favor of Netflix), I found that just getting rid of the clutter caused by that extra numeric figure made me feel more relaxed—even though it was the most minor of digital spring cleanings. And by the end of the weekend, I had stopped looking at my battery status so often; I couldn't decode with any accuracy how much time I had left on my battery until the symbol turned red at 20 percent, so why bother looking?

The one inconvenience (if you can call it that) this change caused was that, without the visible battery percentage, I made a point to charge my phone proactively, plugging it in at least once during the day instead of just at night. And since the whole point of this experiment was to worry less about the battery, this may have been a little counterproductive.

Not knowing is an exercise in letting go. A rapidly depleting battery on my smartphone is rarely a life-or-death issue in my world, and there are always the “low battery” pop-up notifications at 20 percent and 10 percent to alert you to impending shutdown. Yes, it’s harder to tiptoe that line between continuing to text at 7 percent and getting to a charger by the time it falls to 3 percent, as I am wont to do while sitting at home, but at most it'll just delay my text-flirting game by a few minutes while I deal with my dead phone. I am still in the stage where I miss the comfort of knowing that I have 88 percent battery left, but in time, I think that will fade, leaving me feeling more calm about my lock screen.

The lack of percentage display is certainly no substitute for that ultimate phone-battery hack, which is, just stop looking at your phone so often. But it certainly adds a little bit of mystery to life.

[h/t The Next Web]