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Dumbphone – smartphone – difference. Mobile phones without internet are coming back into favor

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– After a period of fascination with access to the Internet and exploring its risky areas, many young people begin to look critically at the digital space – says Magdalena Bigaj from the Institute of Digital Citizenship. According to data from the USA, sales of phones with a limited number of functions, for example without an Internet connection, are increasing.

A phone that allows you to send a text message or make a call and not much else. A bit clunky, with a large keyboard. Connecting to the Internet is theoretically an option, but in practice it takes so much time that it makes no sense.

This is not a memory of cell phones from the turn of the millennium, but a dumbphone, a product that is gaining popularity, especially among Generation Z, i.e. people born after 1995.

“Głopophones” without the Internet and without negative consequences

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The name “dumbphone” (literally “dumb phone”) obviously refers to smartphones that can accommodate many devices. Internet access, high-quality camera, payments, navigation, voice recorder, e-mail, social media – smartphones are no longer just phones, but also organizers of modern life.

This doesn't suit everyone. Reddit users who contribute to the dumbphone discussion emphasize that using phones that are constantly connected to the Internet contributes to an increased sense of anxiety. This is confirmed by scientific research, which shows that the use of smartphones and social media increases the risk of mental disorders among young people.

Telephones accompany us in many everyday situationsShutterstock

– I have been telling adults for a long time that young people will one day accuse us of all the negative consequences they experienced because we, as a society, did not want to deal with them online – says Magdalena Bigaj, creator and president of the Digital Institute Foundation, in an interview with the tvn24.pl business editorial team Citizenship, author of the book “Upbringing at the Screen”. – After all, it was adults who allowed the unrestricted development of new technologies, which today pose such a great threat to the mental health of children and adolescents. Those young people who buy “dumbphones” today will make fun of us for being so stupid as to show our own children online and so enslaved that instead of being with our children, we would discuss with strangers on the Internet. After all, children see all this from an early age and draw conclusions.

Hence the turn towards devices that allow for quick communication, but do not encourage us to spend hours clicking on the screen. The desire to limit time spent in front of the screen is one of the main reasons for the growing interest in dumbphones.

Read also: Smartphone face, text neck. Be careful >>>>>

Limiting screen time

“I've already tried an old Nokia and a flip phone. I'm looking for a regular phone, without applications and a web browser”; “I have given up most applications, except for listening and banking”, “I am struggling with cell phone addiction. I am finally starting to free myself from it. I hope that more people will join this movement and free themselves from the hell of constant scrolling” – write users r/dumbphones thread on Reddit.

There is no talk of a revolution yet, but experts are slowly paying attention to the growing interest in returning to a more simplified version of telephones. According to data from HMD Global (manufacturer of Nokia phones), in 2022, “tens of thousands” of flip phones were sold in the US per month. At the same time, the company's global handset sales were declining.

“I'm hurting” – SMS from your neck. Material from the “Polska i Świat” magazine TVN24“I'm hurting” – SMS from your neck. Material from the “Polska i Świat” magazine TVN24tvn24

– The market for flip phones has increased by 5 percent – said Lars Silberbauer, marketing director of Nokia Phones and HMD Global, in an interview with Euronews in March 2023. – Last year we doubled our share in the flip phone market. And we see that this trend is now becoming more and more popular in Europe.

According to research company IDC global smartphone shipments increased by 8%. to 289.4 million pieces in January-March. Samsung gained 20.8 percent. market share, and its largest competitor, Apple – 17.3 percent.

Should I buy a dumbphone to try to wean myself off the smartphone? The authors of the Reddit thread have a simpler tip: to start, just install apps that limit the time spent in front of the screen.

Taking control

– I'm not surprised that young people use phones without Internet. Contrary to what many say about young people on the Internet, I observe high self-awareness in this generation – explains Magdalena Bigaj from ICO. – After a period of being fascinated by access to the Internet and exploring its risky areas, many young people begin to look critically at the digital space. They notice its negative impact on their well-being, relationships with others and other areas of life. In the research they say: “my sister advised me not to install TikTok because it's rubbish.” Or: “I uninstalled social media applications, I don't need them, I have other things to do.”

He adds: – Teenagers have always rebelled against what is accepted as the norm. If they see that entire societies are absorbed in online activity, they rebel against it. In the rebellion of the children, I see hope for sorting out the role of new technologies in the world, although they will not have it easy, because as adults we have already done a lot.

Lars Silberbauer from HMD Global has a similar opinion. – This trend is really about people taking control of their own lives. Over your digital life – he said in an interview with Euronews.

Author:Natalia Szostak

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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