Aren’t smartphones just the greatest thing since sliced bread? They grant 24 hour a day access to kitten memes, remind you that the world is full of extremist morons every time you read the comments section in social media, and provide the perfect means by which to spread half-arsed, poorly researched, and deeply biased misinformation, disguised as truth. Truly, we would be a poorer species without them.
But that isn’t even scratching the surface. They also demand attention, prodding you and poking you, drawing your attention from the real world, insisting that you focus on their screens as much as possible. Here is a reminder to commit your eyeballs to this app, here is a notification that your friend is sharing a photo of his latest encounter with a bird in his garden, and, most of all, here is a reminder that the device also needs to be charged, on a regular basis, or it will die. And oh how we will shed tears of dismay as it flickers its last, before switching off and finally leaving you in peace. Bless you smartphones, you shrieking, demanding, needy little devices, bless you. I for one have to admit I can’t live without you. Or at least, I get antsy if you are not within reach and your battery starts getting low.
Charging – It’s A Challenge
If you’ve ever asked a total stranger to let you use a power socket because your shrieking pocket technology demands juice, you’ll know that it can be an awkward experience. Hence why it is preferable to let the mewling circuit beast charge while you sleep. But, I’m afraid to be the bearer of bad news; this is the exact wrong way to charge a phone.
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It’s best to think of a battery like this; it only has so many recharges in its life. Each time it is recharged and discharges, it is closer to death. More to the point; as long as it is sucking juice from an outlet and is already topped up, the faster the top 5% of the battery is going to be useless, since that portion of the battery is effectively being charged and discharged in an endless loop. Notice how the top 5% always seems to go faster after the phone has been in use for a while? This is why.
Just Don’t Charge It
But, you’re probably now asking, dismayed, if I don’t charge it when I sleep, when am I supposed to charge it? The misconception here is that you need your device sitting at 100%, all the time. You really don’t. Portable devices function just fine if they are at 10%, or at 100%. You might consider simply charging it from the time you wake up to the time you leave the house. It may not be a 100% charge, but the device will still function just fine. You might also consider getting a charger for your car, and have it top up while heading off for morning duties.
The point is; just don’t charge it when you sleep, and certainly don’t charge it just to keep the green battery bar sitting at the top. Charge it when it needs it, and for as long as is convenient, and you will find that your battery lasts a great deal longer. Alternatively, you might consider just letting the monster in your pocket die from time to time. Here’s a thought; turn it off when you sleep, and back on when you wakeup. This will show it who the boss really is, and keep it on the back foot, making it less likely to impose on your life so flippantly in the future. Better yet, start each morning by badmouthing it and holding it under a running tap for five minutes, assuming it’s waterproof. A sure fire way of making sure it understands that you hold the power to kill it.
Seriously though, stop charging it when you sleep. You’ll be gobsmacked at how much difference it makes.