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Return of the Flip Phone:  The First Step towards a Digitally Minimalist Life

Return of the Flip Phone:  The First Step towards a Digitally Minimalist Life

No one expected flip phones to return with such a bang. Their reemergence has become the hottest trend, with celebrities like Daniel Day-Lewis, Warren Buffet and Kim Kardashian proudly carrying these phones in public (Arnold, 2018). Never to miss out on a profitable opportunity, large cellular phone corporations have tapped into this new and lucrative market as well. In November of 2019, Motorola launched its new foldable smartphone, the Motorola Razr, while Samsung launched their smart flip phone, the Galaxy Z Flip, only a couple of weeks ago. It is glaringly clear that flip mobiles are all the rage now, but is it just the latest fad in fashion, or is this shift towards flip phones signifying a collective awareness of the dangers of modern technology? 

The Digital World

More and more studies are being done every day about the complicated lives we live in this technology-saturated world of ours. We are all too familiar with the feeling of sheer exhaustion that comes from keeping up with our digital social lives. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter; the list of social media platforms goes on and on. To keep up with the constant and relentless alerts is an all–day job, especially when we consider how connected modern technology is. The lack of physical interaction and the rise in virtual socialization have increased depression and anxiety amongst people. Statistics show from 2009 to 2017 suicidal thoughts amongst teenagers in USA increased by 25% (Vox, 2019).  Another research revealed that teenagers with a higher screen-time average have a greater likelihood of being unhappy, whereas the ones who spent a higher than average time on non-screen activities have a greater likelihood of being happy. (Twenge, 2017). 

Evidence shows that one gadget has facilitated this change in our psychology more than any other: the modern day mobile. The smartphone was a revolutionary creation; it encompassed all the features we desired from modern technology into a miniature device. It is therefore not surprising that most, if not all, of us have been truly enthralled and riveted with smartphones. Access to the entire world is in our hand, and we have been misusing it, and in turn ourselves; being lost in the allure of it all. Being in constant communication through our phones, and having uninhibited access to almost everything through the internet not only disrupts our time, but also drains our creativity. There has been an exponential rise in depression and anxiety amongst teenagers. Most of our socialization is being done virtually rather than physically. Our digital presence is proving detrimental towards our physical and mental health. 

Digital Minimalism 

In his book Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, Cal Newport elucidates upon how turning off your alerts/notifications is simply not enough in helping control the impact technology holds over our lives. We cannot cut ourselves off completely from technology either. Instead, according to Mr. Newport, we need to rethink our relationship with technology and social media. Decisions need to be made regarding which technological tools to use, for what purposes, and under which conditions. Mr. Newport describes how we can reconnect with our inner selves: through regular periods of solitude, and by rediscovering the pleasures of the offline world. You can begin this process with a thirty day “digital declutter” process which can help you with feeling less overwhelmed and more in control. It is important to bring back physical socialization rather than depending entirely on virtual socialization. Mr. Newport states that technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. The trick is to use technology for our goals and desires, and not let it control or use us. By becoming a digital minimalist, we can rebuild our relationship with technology in a much more organic way. The minimalist movement is the hottest trend right now not just because there is a common and popular desire for less stuff, but also because it grants us back the control, focus, and consciousness of our time and surroundings that we seem to have lost along the way (Newport, 2019).  

Flip Phones can be the First Step

So how do we start with becoming a digital minimalist? Foregoing a phone completely may prove to be too drastic. They have become a necessity as well as an addiction. So instead of depriving ourselves completely, which may not be something feasible in the long term, we can make the choice to change the type of phone we carry. Instead of smartphones, we can adopt flip phones. 

Flip phones, which fall under the category of feature phones, tend to focus on fulfilling the basic requirements rather than competing with the trendiest specs and the biggest corporations. They provide good quality calling, texting, are inexpensive, and come with a long lasting battery life. In an article in The Seattle Times it was written, “The flip phone is turning into a statement of protest and individuality”. These remnants of an older time are loved not only for their retro nature, but for the simplicity, durability and affordability that they provide. In fact, so strong is their demand that Steve Van Dinter, Verizon’s public-relations manager for the Great Lakes market, stated very clearly that it is their consistent demand that makes Verizon sell flip phones even today (Enman, 2018).

At Community Phone, you can find the best flip phones to fulfill all your needs. Our staff can help to launch you into your new digitally minimalist life! Our range of flip phones is not only fit for your needs, but also extremely affordable. You have the OneTouch Retro-Alcatel, the flip phone that carries all the charm of an old school feature phone. The Doro Flip Phone and the Coolpad Snap 3312 are both conventional clamshell type phones that provide you with all the basic specs you desire but also maintain the charming simplicity of feature phones. The path towards becoming a digital minimalist and reestablishing your relationship with technology can begin with just one simple step!

Works Cited

Arnold, A. (2018, April 7). Stop and Admire This Photo of Daniel Day-Lewis Using a Flip Phone While Riding the Subway. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from Vulture: https://www.vulture.com/2018/04/admire-daniel-day-lewis-using-a-flip-phone-in-the-nyc-subway.html

Enman, S. (2018, April 15). A simple flip phone is the new protest statement. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from The Seattle Times: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/a-simple-flip-phone-is-the-new-protest-statement/

Newport, C. (2019). Digital Minimalism - Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. Penguin Books Limited.

Twenge, J. M. (2017, September). Have smartphones destroyed a generation. Retrieved Febraury 21, 2020, from The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/

Vox. (2019, May 20). Have smartphones really destroyed a generation? We don’t know. Retrieved February 21, 2020, from Association for Psychological Science: https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/have-smartphones-really-destroyed-a-generation-we-dont-know.html

 

 

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