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Simpson Street Free Press

Dumb Phones on the Rise in the U.S. as Gen Z Looks to Limit Screen Time

Flip phones became popular in the 1990s and 2000s. At that time, they were a great invention in communicating with people wherever and whenever.

Over the years, phones have advanced technologically, which can be seen in both positive and negative ways. In 2007 smartphones came along, replacing flip phones with iPhones and Androids.

Smartphones have many advanced features like cameras, GPS, and many more applications, that can incorporate your data. This incorporation of personal information concerns people about their data being collected, shared, and used by companies.

Lately, it seems that flip phones are making a comeback with younger people. Older generations talk about their “golden era” or “golden time” when many people had their first flip phone. It was an era that brought good memories of a simpler life that some young people now value and seek. Another reason why some people are switching back to flip phones is for personal health issues or to limit screen time. Harmful side effects from extensive smartphone use, include sleep disruption and physiological issues including reduced glucose tolerance, blood pressure, or increased inflammatory markers. These health issues emerged more around the pandemic when there was a highly increased level of connectivity and pressure to respond rapidly, which led to people having anxiety and stress. Smartphones diminish social connectivity and can impact relationships and social skills.

In 2022, people in the US spent more than 4.5 hours daily on their smartphones; Canada reported that adults spent 3.2 hours per day; and children have about three hours of screen time daily.

According to Google, the searches for “Flip Phones” increased by more than 140% over the past five years. Recently Samsung brought the model of the flip phones to South Korea and it became a big hit. It has started to appear on the famous app “Tik-Tok” which got the attention of many people. Veteran Technology Analyst, Tim Bajarin says “Flip phones seem like a fad for this generation at this moment, however, social media’s interest in flip phones could eventually have an impact on new smartphone designs if it shows a real demand for them.”

[Source: CNBC: The Wall Street Journal; BBC News]

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