As we head into 2023, here are my top three apps for wasting time on my phone. These are the ones that excel in providing empty moments. Add several of those together, and all of the sudden I’ve wasted another half hour when I could have been doing something productive like writing this post!

1. Twitter

Twitter for me is the “crack” cocaine of the Internet. It’s always tempting me to take a quick peek. Fifteen minutes later when I want to get back on task, I have a hard time re-focusing and recalling what it is I need to be doing. Whether it’s for a look at the news, #doomscrolling, or simply entertainment, Twitter has the “It Factor” that catapults it to the top of my Personal Time Wasters List.

New for 2023, I’ve removed Elon from my notifications. Though always entertaining, getting him off my lock screen means one less distraction.

2. Apollo

Apollo is hands-down the best Reddit client available. I love how it puts the content I follow front-and-center. It’s an instant cure for boredom, and that’s a problem for me as enjoying boredom is one of my goals for 2023.

3. Octal

You familiar with Hacker News? It’s this community of smart and thoughtful technologists who post links to interesting content with all of their commentary. I mainly go there just for the comments. Octal is my goto Hacker News client on my phone.

The problem I have with Hacker News is that I often find myself scrolling through its feed, scanning headlines, and then dipping into the comments without reading the heretofore linked article. It’s highly addictive, and a fabulous waste of time.

Honourable Mention: USA Today

All of the skimming practice I’ve picked up with Twitter, Reddit, and Hacker News has influenced my news consumption. USA Today keeps asking me to subscribe so I can read their locked content, but heck, I hardly read their unlocked content.

Instead of reading articles, I’ve been known to peruse their app, scan the headlines, and not bother to open the articles. And, let’s be honest, do you actually need to read the news nowadays? Give me a good headline, and I bet I can guess 90-95% of the content.

PS – Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series where I share my Top Three Apps for Redeeming My Time.