The big picture: For those looking to stay in the know on the go, there is no better tool than the smartphone. These miniature supercomputers put our entire digital lives at our fingertips and are so influential that they literally reshaped the Internet. For a growing number of users, however, it is all becoming a bit too much to manage.
The Wall Street Journal recently profiled multiple users that have either switched back to a basic flip phone from a smartphone or never made the transition at all. One user, a 23-year-old content strategist living in New York City, splits time 50 / 50 between an iPhone and a flip phone.
With the flip phone, the user said there are “no work emails, no Instagram updates, nothing from Facebook, nothing from TikTok. Nothing from anyone except the people who are important to you.”
Another mobile user, 49-year-old associate English professor Melissa Range, has never owned a smartphone. She told the Journal she leads a busy life and does not want to donate her free time to a telephone.
Not having a smartphone can be limiting at times. For example, Range said if she gets lost, she has to rely on her wits or ask for directions. Other times, it brings her attention. Lots of people reportedly tell her they wish they could get rid of their smartphone.
Flip phone sales pale in comparison to the number of feature-rich smartphones sold each month, but they are not at zero either. Lars Silberbauer, chief marketing officer of HMD Global, told the publication Nokia sells tens of thousands of basic flip phones in the US each month. The executive added that sales are growing across demographics, and that it is not just a small trend.
For comparison, 304 million smartphones were shipped globally in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Would you consider going back to a basic flip phone that could only make calls, send texts and perhaps snap photos? Perhaps like Range, you never made the jump to a smartphone at all?