‘Dumb phones’ are back as Gen Z looks to limit screen time


While smartphones have quickly taken over the market around the world, old-school phones have seen a small resurgence in the US. — Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

A new trend is seeing some Gen Zers abandon their smartphones in favor of basic flip phones.

The latest obsession with flip phones started when various celebrities took to social media to express the need to reclaim their mental health by getting rid of their smartphones in order to reduce screen time.

“I think you can see it with certain Gen Z populations – they’re tired of the screens,” Jose Briones, dumb phone influencer and moderator of the subreddit r/dumbphones, told CNN.

Disney star and singer Dove Cameron, interviewed on the “Zach Sang Show,” shared why she felt the need to ditch her smart phone. The “Boyfriend” singer was spending “too much time” on her phone and expressed how it was “really bad for her."

“I found a little 90s, Matrix-y flip phone,” Cameron said. “I got a separate number for it; it’s really cheap and probably really (expletive).”

Pop star Camilla Cabello, meanwhile, tweeted her love for the TCL flip phone.

While smartphones have quickly taken over the market around the world, old-school phones have seen a small resurgence in the US.

Nokia continues to make millions off of “dumb phones” and sales of the basic devices have risen 150% since 2020.

According to NBC’s Emilie Ikeda, the trend is simply driven by the hopes and desires of a generation who aim to take control of their mental health by decreasing access to social media. – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Tribune News Service

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