March 20, 2023


Technology Room

Gen Z embraces dumb flip telephones, a wiser life hack than you’d suppose

4 min read
Young woman with blonde, curly hair on a silver flip phone.

Getty Photographs

Gen Z, the primary technology to develop up with good tech’s evolution from novelty to on a regular basis pocket equipment, is flipping the script and flocking to flip telephones. 

With every new smartphone technology, firms like Apple and Samsung provide an arsenal of extra superior options all encompassed by greater and brighter screens to connect our eyes to. However Gen Z desires much less, no more from smartphones, to guard their psychological well being. 

Their answer: A flip cellphone that may actually shut out content material overload. 

You heard that proper, the technology that often turns to doomscrolling for consolation, is voluntarily going again to the 2000s to hunt shelter in opposition to the rampant client economic system. 

Additionally: Foldable phones might be the next big thing: Here’s what you need to know. 

“I believe I needed to realize [I guess] a way of simply being extra linked with my family and friends. After which I additionally simply needed to chop down on display time,” a 23-year-old Buzzfeed reporter Fjolla Arifi instructed ABC News, after strictly using a flip phone for the week

On common, the generational cohort born in and after 1996, dubbed “Gen Z,” watches of 7.2 hours of video on their screens per day. With content material continuously obtainable, many Gen Zers discover themselves “doomscrolling” on TikTok and Instagram.

Smartphones and social media have grow to be ubiquitous, and algorithms condition younger individuals to remain glued to their telephones. Strategically curated feeds coupled with doomscrolling could be detrimental to psychological well being, to not point out a significant time sucker. 

“We understand that each single drawback we now have on an evening out, every thing that results in us crying, every thing that results in having a nasty time, stems from our cellphone,” explained TikTok consumer @skzzolno for why she and her mates solely carry their flip telephones out with them. 

For Gen Zs, turning to flip telephones is not simply to observe an adopted Y2K aesthetic, however maybe to revisit a time when know-how wasn’t all-consuming, however merely an adjunct. 

“It eliminates all of the dangerous issues about school and brings the entire good issues a few cellphone, which is like connecting with individuals and taking images and movies with individuals,” says Gen Zer @skkzonlo in her TikTok. 

Screenshot of a college girl filming a Tik Tok video on why her and her friends only use flip phones when they go out.

Tik Tok consumer @skzzolno explains to followers why she and her mates solely carry a flip cellphone with them after they exit. 

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET/Tik Tok

And whereas firms like Samsung have introduced again the nostalgic flip cellphone design, notably with its Galaxy Z Flip sequence, the Z Flip continues to be tailor-made for content material creators and customers. 

Whereas utilizing the Flip’s “flex mode” to make use of the 2 screens as a mini tripod or as a camcorder is modern, maybe innovation is not the purpose of proudly owning a flip cellphone. The attract might not even be within the nostalgia of flipping the clamshell open and closed, however within the system’s simplicity.  

Additionally: Samsung says folding telephones at the moment are mainstream

Whereas the guide nature of generally having to press three keys to sort one letter is likely to be removed from handy, is it extra human? 

“It felt like my day was extra boring as a result of I had much less superficial dopamine to fill it with. However, that was overwhelmingly trumped by this concept of peace and quiet. I did not really feel the necessity to continuously drench my mind in stimulation,” mentioned one other Gen Zer Osamah Quatanani to ABC Information after switching to a flip cellphone for 30 days. 

Flip telephones aren’t the primary piece of legacy tech to exchange the all-in-one energy of a smartphone. 

As a Gen Zer myself, I’ve to confess that the luxurious of taking a disposable digital camera picture throughout an evening out, with out the inflow of notifications, immediate gratification, or stress to put up beats one in all comfort.  In the end, it is a releasing expertise and I think about utilizing a flip cellphone is much more so. 

Whereas I haven’t got the standard flip cellphone, I do have the Z Flip 4, and I can actually say that the act of flipping the cellphone down brings an entire new degree of satisfaction. On high of the act being a smartphone novelty, I like the concept when it is time for me to bodily shut away distraction, there’s the precise, bodily motion that accompanies and facilitates it. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 phones lined up

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is seen on show.

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Fellow ZDNET reporter and Gen Zer Jada Jones additionally not too long ago analyzed how legacy tech, comparable to a Sony Walkman, fulfills a need for tech to reinforce Gen Z’s lives fairly than overtake them. 

Though Gen Zers have taken to embracing the flip cellphone as a fast repair to chop again on display time, smartphones nonetheless dominate the market. In quarter one of 2022 alone, Apple shipped 20 million iPhones in North America. So, do not anticipate your Apple or Samsung good ecosystem to face deforestation points anytime quickly. As an alternative, you could possibly decide to unplug or set display limits. 

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