iSwitched to a flip phone


Illustration by Stephanie Cortez

Preston Bigley, Staff Writer

 In the Spring of 2019, I decided to get rid of my smartphone and buy a flip-phone. I remember the day like it was yesterday; I was sitting in the T-Mobile parking lot contemplating walking in and purchasing a flip-phone. I thought back and forth about the advantages and disadvantages of having a smartphone. I realized that one drawback gleamed over any benefit of having a smartphone: the constant dependency. Specifically, the attachment I had with my smartphone was exhausting and overwhelming. Therefore, I decided to do the unthinkable and put my words into action. I walked behind the T-Mobile store, found a dumpster, smashed the smartphone and threw it away. 

Then, I walked into the phone store with no other choice; my head held high and walked out with an Alcatel flip-phone. Walking out of that store felt bittersweet; I was empowered and courageous, yet immensely conflicted. Living with my smartphone was like working with a boss with no autonomy. For example, the smartphone decided when I was allowed to put it down to talk to my friends, sleep, eat and take time for myself. On that spring day in 2019, I officially told my boss — my smartphone — “I QUIT!”

However, coming to this decision was by no means a smooth process, and it happened quickly. Like an unhealthy relationship, something about the toxicity convinced me that I could not operate day-to-day without my smartphone. I was attracted to the “connection” with others that the smartphone made me feel, the instant gratification of entertainment at my fingertips and the perfect escape to avoid any real-life situations that I did not want to take part in. 

I felt the withdrawal of living life without a smartphone. Specifically, I felt out of sorts: How was I going to use GPS? How was I going to use the internet effectively without Wi-Fi? Finally, what would others think of me? Although these types of questions concerned me, I felt in my gut that it was essential to push through and make the flip-phone life a habitual practice. 

Presently, I have no regret of getting rid of my smartphone. In my humble opinion, other than group messaging, music and work-related applications, a smartphone is simply an allusion to a need rather than what it really is: a want. Not only have I learned that living with a flip-phone is entirely doable, but it is also a thoroughly enjoyable experience. 

In conclusion, switching to a flip-phone was one of the best decisions I have ever made; however, I want to emphasize that my intentions are not to offer unsolicited advice. Transitioning from a smartphone to a flip-phone is like any other lifestyle change; it is utterly situational.