Flip phones are in again as Generation Z seeks to avoid smartphone addiction

Flip phones are in again as Generation Z seeks to avoid smartphone addiction
A story published today by the New York Post discusses an interesting trend. It seems that some members of Generation Z (those born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s, according to Wikipedia) are giving up their smartphones and are replacing them with older flip phones. Those who are now using handsets like the Alcatel 2051 and the Pantech Breeze 4 are driven by a desire to stop feeling anxious and depressed. Others ended up with insomnia thanks to their smartphone.

One of the biggest draws of non-connected phones for those in Generation Z is that they won't be tracked by them, receive targeted ads or have their location tracked. On the other hand, these devices won't be able to help users find their way from point "A" to point "B" since they don't have GPS. And a recent study found that most teens feel more confident using social media apps.

Both Apple and Google added new features this year that allow iOS and Android users to monitor their smartphone and app usage. Screen Time (iOS) and DigitalWellbeing (Android) also allow users to cap the amount of time they spend daily on a particular app. But that isn't enough to placate those like 23 year old Wyatt Joslyn, who has never owned a smartphone. Joslyn uses an old Samsung flip phone purchased for $15 off of eBay. Based in Philadelphia, the physical trainer has never regretted his decision to stay away from a smartphone. He says, "Seeing the level of excess and distraction people have when using smartphones makes me more confident and comfortable with retaining a flip phone."

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19 Comments

1. fakenewzz

Posts: 133; Member since: Nov 15, 2018

Translation: I got no job and no money so I have to use a POS and call it “trendy.”

2. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3112; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Translation: I have a life and I don't need to be trendy.

5. mixedfish

Posts: 1547; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Nope, using obsolete retro devices is 'trendy'.

12. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

With a little bit of self discipline, you can use a smartphone without overusing it! When I realized I've been using PhoneArena WAY too much, I took a break, hence the long (Around 2 months) absence. It's not that difficult. Getting a dumb phone to limit your so called 'internet addiction' is akin of getting 'snipped'. Why get snipped if you can take the time to use 'protection' in the middle of the heat?! Logic, innit?

7. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2314; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Considering that there are a lot of smartphones that are either free when you sign up for a carrier (even prepaid) or are around the $100 mark or less, I doubt that having no money is the issue.

3. kennybenny

Posts: 211; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

Been thinking of downloading a screen limiter......

4. skymitch89

Posts: 1452; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

It's all good and everything, but wait until the service providers start shutting down the older networks to use that spectrum and capacity for 4G/5G devices in the coming years.

6. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

This is ugly just like all android handsets.

8. rouyal

Posts: 1573; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

My boy’s bday is coming up. As a middle schooler, I don’t think it’s appropriate for him to have unrestricted access to the internet, but I’d like for him to still be able to text or call who he needs/wants. Got him one of the new style Nokia 3310s. There’s still a market for basic phones, as long as there are still responsible parents out there.

9. Vokilam

Posts: 1151; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

You can set smartphones to restrict children from doing anything than what you want to allow them to. Including internet websites. On my kids iPads I have listed websites they’re allowed to access and blocked all in-app purchasing in every app. The iTunes and AppStore apps are hidden and all settings are custom restricted so that they can’t make changes without a password. I can also remotely control their screen time for certain apps, I can override any part of the screen so it has no sensitivity to touch (even if screen is flipped). And when they were little I literally locked them into an app making it impossible for them to exit by disabling the home button with a password. You can give them a device with limited access to internet. I especially like the ability to track their whereabouts with find my friends or find my phone apps. And sound an alarm (even if they had it set to viavrate) if they choose to ignore my calls.

11. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

@Vokilam Are you related to a dictator by any chance? Let the little ones breathe in democracy, mate. Instead of a virtual isolation, children have the right to know about... Well, everything their little minds can fathom. And it's better if they learn about that stuff from their parents instead of someone else. But of course, I'm guilty of being a liberal so your opinion may vary! G'Day!

14. Vokilam

Posts: 1151; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

That is the dumbest parenting advice I've ever heard. Theres nothing dictator-wise about controlling what internet sites theyre allowed to visit. They're my kids until 18 years old. They have plenty of educational and fun websites and movies or programs they can enjoy. Youtube is the worst website a kid can visit, even "youtube kids" has commercials that are inappropriate. My point was, instead of just handing your kid a flip phone to restrict their access to internet and etc. you can still give them a smartphone which can still open up the world, but limit areas you dont want them to go when unsupervised. I threw the samsung tablet in the trash years ago when i walked in on a commercial that the kid was watching to get extra "diamonds" in their game. at least with ipad i can control this content by blocking these parts of the game. this liberal garbage you spew about giving children their own control and freedom over eveything is absolute lunacy... you teach your offspring whatever you want, but dont judge or ridicule me for raising my kids like a real parent should.

17. rouyal

Posts: 1573; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

“Let the little ones breathe in democracy, mate. Instead of a virtual isolation, children have the right to know about...” A fancy way of saying “I’m a lazy parent”. I don’t want to restrict things they see on the internet or download, I don’t want them sinking their life into it period. No data, nothing.

19. rouyal

Posts: 1573; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Instead of “unrestricted” access, I should have said “unsupervised” access. Meaning I don’t want him wasting his youth watching YouTube videos, downloading apps, or even browsing sites that I would approve. The time that would be sunk into it is just important as the stuff I don’t think is appropriate. With no data, I can be sure that he isn’t sitting in his room or at school wasting time.

10. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

That 3310 has an Opera Mini Browser built-in, mate! I use Opera Mini when I'm outside; thanks to my 1.5GB monthly quota of cellular internet (Claustrophobic, eh?) and it can run Facebook, Twitter just fine. Actually, pretty darn well. And one hour of internet surfing can barely break the 25MB barrier so... Consider yourself properly warned.

18. rouyal

Posts: 1573; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

He’s getting a plan with only voice and text, mate. With no WiFi support on the phone, there’s no way to use the browser.

13. Vogue1985

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

Those Motorola Razor, they sold like crazy, One of the best designed phones ever, even by today's standard, unless they are very expensive

15. tokuzumi

Posts: 1844; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

If someone put a great camera on a flip phone, I'd seriously consider one. Phones are way too big now. The smallest smartphones on the market are phablets. The phablet trend really needs to die.

16. libra89

Posts: 2265; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I agree about the size of phones. Something that made me hang on to the SE a little longer than I should have is the size of it. It was so refreshing. I miss it sometimes.

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