In a world where anything you could think of can be linked to a smart device, young people are taking it upon themselves to turn back to practicality.
"Dumb" phones — basic mobile phones without internet access — are gaining popularity among Gen Z in the United States. The report cites concerns about screen time and digital addiction as the primary reasons for this trend, with many young people seeking to limit their use of smartphones and other internet-connected devices, according to CNBC.
It’s getting to the point where cellular device manufacturers are producing new phones that are designed to be used for very specific and limited uses. These mobile phones have been dubbed “light phones.”
Co-founder of Light, Joe Hollier, said “What we’re trying to do with the Light phone isn’t to create a dumb phone, but to create a more intentional phone — a premium, minimal phone — which isn’t inherently anti-technology,” Hollier added, “But it’s about consciously choosing how and when to use which aspects of technology that add to my quality of life.”
There are many sentiments regarding the abandonment of newer phones from the youth. Some people feel like it’s not going to be useful or taken seriously.
“I feel like if it becomes popular, it’s gonna be a result of being trendy,” 20-year old Dania Abdallah expressed, “If anything, using older phones is gonna make it more of a hassle to stay in contact with people who have adapted to the new normal of smartphones.”
There is also the feeling that even if people tried to curb their phone addiction, they would end up going back to using their devices.
I would have to put my smartphone in a sealed plastic bag & then in a container full of water & freeze it overnight in order not to use it. And then you would find me chipping away at the ice in the morning. I use my phone for everything.
— Hayet (@Hayetathome) March 30, 2023
It’s obviously something people are contemplating when it comes to bringing down screen time. The return to using flip phones and old Nokias is increasing the vintage cell phone sales. HMD Global, producer of the old Nokia devices, reported tens of thousands of units being sold per month in 2022.