The Anti-Smartphone Revolution

Welcome to another episode of Cold
in April of 2022 the singer Selena Gomez
was in an interview with Good Morning
America she had done something that most
people have thought about doing but
never actually followed through with
the pop star had mentioned that she’d
taken a break from the internet not just
for a week or a month but 4.5 years and
she claimed that it changed her life it
has changed my life completely I am
happier I am more present I connect more
with people it makes me feel normal I do
personally know others that have done a
similar thing it seems like there’s a
change in the air I don’t know if you
can feel it but the internet can be an
increasingly tiring place
now leaving the internet entirely is a
bit extreme for most but millions of
young people are doing the next closest
thing they’re ditching their smartphones
for feature phones also known as dumb
phones it’s a movement that’s being
dubbed for dumb phone Revolution
the error of the smartphone has brought
us unparalleled convenience connection
and entertainment in the palm of our
hand but since it was introduced in its
true form in 2007 with the release of
the iPhone and the subsequent rise of
social media Giants it has become clear
that there’s also a downside it’s no
secret that smartphones have hacked our
the typical phone user touches their
2617 times every day interestingly half
of all of those pickups happen within
the first three minutes of the previous
one it’s no longer just a habit but a
bodily function on average three hours
are spent staring at a tiny screen
it affects people emotionally from
guilty time wasting to depression and
isolation in young adults on the other
hand there’s the Relentless spying by
governments and tech companies for every
societal change there’s a subsequent
pendulum swing in the opposite direction
and right now there’s a weak but growing
underground movement of young people
opting to put their smartphones aside
for dumb phones instead
a device that can only do phone calls
text and simple tasks is refreshing to
according to the BBC Google searches for
the term dumb phone have jumped by 89
between 2018 and 2021.
the global purchase of dumb phones hit 1
billion units last year this compares to
1.4 billion smartphones sold last year a
decline of 12.5 percent versus 2020.
2021 study by the accountancy group
Deloitte said that one in 10 mobile
users in the UK had a dumb phone and
among these is 17 year old Robin West
she got rid of her smartphone over two
years ago her current mobile cost her
just eight pounds plus there’s no
monthly data Bill to worry about
she tells the BBC she’ll never buy
another smartphone quote I’m happy with
my brick I don’t think it limits me I’m
definitely more proactive I didn’t
notice until I bought a brick phone how
much a smartphone was taking over my
life I had a lot of social media apps on
it and I didn’t get as much work done as
I was always on my phone
most of her friends couldn’t wrap their
heads around it quote everyone thinks
it’s just a temporary thing they’re like
so when are you getting a smartphone are
you getting one next week
as small as this story is it actually
begs an interesting question
what if the essential need for a
smartphone in the modern world is mostly
an illusion everyone used to live just
fine without one 15 years ago and
perhaps it’s all just a modern anomaly
shubham agua over at the publication
digital Trend switched to a Nokia 8110
and he Echoes this sentiment quote I
felt hijacked by my smartphone and the
companies behind it switching to a
feature phone disabused me from the
illusion that my life will come to a
halt without my smartphone
it made me realize how insignificant
most of what I do on my phone actually
some YouTubers also share their
experience with using dumb phones
I hardly believe this but I have been
using a dumb phone for six months and I
told myself I would stick with this
phone for 30 days at least to see how it
goes and it’s now been six months
but there’s a lot of places I’ve noticed
you have to scan a QR code in order to
get service and this phone obviously
can’t scan a QR code and you know open
up a link or an app they don’t give
menus anymore like if you go to dine in
the restaurant they don’t give you a
menu there’s just a QR code on the table
and you’re supposed to scan the QR code
to read the menus usually I’m with
someone who has a smartphone and can
comment in it personally it frustrates
me because I’m choosing not to have a
smartphone but I know there are a lot of
people who just don’t have a smartphone
for you know not by choice and those
people are kind of excluded from certain
spaces so I really don’t like that
like there are no notifications so it’s
not just like me not picking up and
opening the phone and voluntarily
entering into something but it’s also
that like the phone doesn’t beep or grab
for my attention unless someone is
calling or texting me and that is super
amazing this device is just a tool that
I can use when I need to use it but it
doesn’t ask anything of me if I’m not
using it it just sits there and I really
really love that there are a couple
things that I’ve learned that are just
like huge life-changing benefits to
using a dumb phone and
these are things that I honestly didn’t
even expect number one is that I am
incredibly calm now and I don’t identify
as someone who has anxiety like I
wouldn’t have said that I’m an anxious
person but after switching I realized
that there probably was a lot of anxiety
around my iPhone that has since gone
away and I think it’s just that I’m not
constantly in tune with
um the internet and you know things that
are going on and the biggest place that
I noticed this is when I have some down
time if I’m waiting in a line or waiting
at an appointment or something like that
I previously would grab my iPhone and I
would start consuming content right away
and now I can’t do that so it just
allows me this like very valuable space
for my brain to just take a break and
just kind of sit there and think and
this is something that I don’t think we
get enough of in our culture I honestly
surprised myself that I didn’t return to
my iPhone at any point in the past six
months I didn’t set a rule for myself
that like I can’t ever use it again and
I’m not gonna say that I won’t ever use
a smartphone again who knows but I just
haven’t wanted to and I still don’t want
to the piece that I feel from using a
dumb phone is like such a huge benefit
it’s worth some of the minor
inconveniences and having a smartphone
just feels a little people like
Tech expert Professor Sandra Watcher a
senior research fellow in artificial
intelligence at Oxford University
explains why younger people want simpler
phones quote your smartphone is your
entertainment center your news generator
your navigation system your diary your
dictionary and your wallet she adds that
smartphones always want to grab your
attention with notifications and updates
and breaking news constantly disrupting
your day
quote this can keep you on edge and
might even be agitating it can be
overwhelming it makes sense that some of
us are now looking for simpler
Technologies and think that dumb phones
might offer a return to simpler times it
might leave more time to fully
concentrate on a single task and engage
with it more purposefully it might even
calm people down Studies have shown that
too much Choice can create unhappiness
and agitation
dumb phone Advocates will tell you that
they can be very useful even if
temporary whether you want to be present
for a holiday or focused on a project or
just need some time back in your day but
you still want to be able to call
someone in an emergency
a new player in the fledgling modern
dumb phone space is the New York company
Light phone
it’s a bit more capable than an old
Nokia as it can play music and podcasts
and Link by Bluetooth to headphones
the company recorded its strongest
financial performance in 2021 with sales
up 150 percent when compared to 2020.
the Light phone is the brainchild of Joe
hollier and Kai Tang
in 2014 they announced the kickstarter
project in their words it was a way to
combat technology Addiction in 2015 the
first version Light phone had a 50 000
person wait list Light phone co-founder
K Tang stated that the device was
initially created just as a temporary
break from the smartphone to use on the
weekend for example
but now half the firm’s customers use it
as their primary device and this is very
he’s also made some colorful comments
quote if aliens came to Earth they’d
think that mobile phones are the
superior species controlling human
beings and it’s not going to stop it’s
only going to get worse
consumers are realizing that something
is wrong and we want to offer an
now this next bit is key the firm’s main
customers are aged between 25 and 35.
initially the company was expecting
buyers to be much older but the fact
that its Millennials that are buying
really tells you something
we’re the generation that grew up before
the internet but also with it and now it
seems like we’re getting tired
another player in the space is punked
their device the mp02 is another simple
offering that suits the new brand of
minimalists as time progresses I’m sure
we’re going to see a lot more of these
low-tech startups
and just when I was finishing up this
video although they’re clearly not a
startup Nokia has entered the picture as
well they just announced a new feature
phone with Bluetooth headphones built
right in so it seems like they can see
more demand for basic feature phones
that have been updated for modern times
in 2017 Nokia relaunched its 3310
handset first released in 2000 the
relaunch drummed up a lot of interest
and sparked a small Revival for the
simple week-long battery life and being
virtually indestructible was tempting
for those looking for something that
didn’t want to get in the way
five years ago president oligenic suck a
psychologist swapped out a smartphone
for a 3310 initially he wanted a longer
lasting battery however he soon realized
that there were many other benefits
quote before I would always be stuck on
my phone checking anything and
everything browsing Facebook or the news
or other facts that I didn’t need to
know now I have more time for my family
and me a huge benefit is that I’m not
addicted to liking sharing commenting or
describing my life to other people now I
have more privacy however he does
mention a drawback before I’d be
checking everything such as buses and
restaurants on my smartphone when
traveling now that is impossible so I’ve
learned to do all of these things
beforehand at home I got used to it
and this is the downside for most people
there’s no navigation bus and train
timetables no web browsing or news but
it’s an inconvenience that has a point
it’s to keep you in reality more often
for whatever that’s worth to you maybe a
good compromise would be to just have a
mode on your smartphone that switches it
into a dumb mode the operating system
would completely change into one that
only allows for calls text navigation
and audio
so will this be a lasting Trend I think
it will continue but ultimately it
remains to be seen as our lives become
ever more digital people that opt out
could find it harder to function in
society it’s interesting to think about
and on that note what do you guys think
do you think this trend is going to grow
and would you ever take the plunge to
buy a dumb phone feel free to discuss in
the comment section below alright so
that’s about it from me I hope you
enjoyed this episode and if you did
definitely feel free to have a browser
on this channel
for those of you who follow my music
I’ve just released a new album on
bandcamp called hello world it’ll be on
Spotify soon
also there’s going to be an extended
discussion of this topic on my podcast
through the web so check it out I’ll
leave all the links below
anyway my name is Togo and you’ve been
watching cold fusion and I’ll see you
again soon for the next episode
sincerely thanks for watching have a
good one



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