Airplane mode and Do Not Disturb have both their unique benefits.
We all know we have to enable airplane mode when we’re on the plane and it is about to take off.
Nowadays we are sometimes allowed to enable Wi-Fi so there is at least access to the internet up in the air.
Nevertheless, no one can call us and we can’t call anyone since there is simply no connection to the mobile network (all IM apps aside).
When you’re on your device because you are busy reading or busy with any other activity that doesn’t allow any disturbance or distraction, airplane mode is a good option to enable (with Wi-Fi disabled of course).
With airplane mode configured this way, no one can call you through the mobile network nor the internet.
The Do Not Disturb (DND) feature is advantageous for similar reasons but should be used differently.
DND is a great feature for when you are busy with an activity that is not connected to your phone at all.
When you’re busy meditating, writing, or studying, you will want to enable Do Not Disturb.
Now all notifications and calls coming in will be silenced.
The feature is more intelligent than airplane mode because in both iOS and Android you can create a list of people who you allow to “disturb” you.
So when people from this list call you, those incoming calls won’t get silenced.
In both operating systems it is also possible to allow repeat callers, so when anyone calls you twice within a short period of time they will get through as well.
Normally when you lock your phone, DND is then enabled.
However, there is an option that has DND enabled even while you’re on your phone aside from when it’s locked, so you won’t see any notifications or incoming calls coming in.
Nevertheless, you can still get distracted by the mere fact that the internet is right there waiting for you to be used.
When you’re on your device reading for example with DND enabled, you still have access to the internet which can easily entice you to open an app or two.
So use the DND when you’re going to sleep or when taking on any activities that demand your concentration.
Any alarms that are set will still go off when DND or airplane mode is enabled by the way!
Another option that might be interesting is to disable mobile data.
This effect essentially turns your smartphone into a dumbphone.
There is access to the mobile network so you can call anyone and vice versa, but there is no connection to the internet.
There is a way to access the internet but you will need a WI-FI connection.
If there is no Wi-Fi connection, there is no internet.
So if you want to use your device as a dumbphone and want to train yourself to use the internet (and all your popular apps) mindfully and sporadically, then disable mobile data aka cellular data in the settings.
Allow all 3 features to help you limit your phone use.
Give both yourself and your smartphone an occasional break.