Our experience with using dumb phones for two years

What is it like to switch from a smart phone to a dumb phone? Lessons learned from two perspectives.
Jerzy Rajkow, Gosia Rajkow 2 min read
Our experience with using dumb phones for two years
Photo by Quino Al / Unsplash

We share our journey of rediscovering the simplicity of life through the use of "dumb" phones, as opposed to the highly addictive smartphones that dominate our lives today. Our podcast focuses on making unconventional choices and living an anti-cultural lifestyle, and this experience is no exception.

Like an old Nokia

Our experiment began when we decided to switch from smartphones to dumb phones, inspired by the Punkt MP01 design, reminiscent of the old Nokia phones we used as students. At first, the transition was uncomfortable and painful, as we had grown accustomed to the convenience and features of our smartphones. However, we soon learned that living without a smartphone was, in fact, much easier than we anticipated.

One of us, a busy mother of two, recognized the symptoms of smartphone addiction in her life, such as sleep deprivation and constant distraction from notifications. The switch to a dumb phone forced her out of her comfort zone and made her more aware of her dependence on technology. Despite the initial anger and frustration, she eventually found a middle ground with the Unihertz Titan Pocket, which provided some useful features without the addictive properties of a smartphone.

More talking, less texting

We discovered that using a dumb phone made us appreciate talking to people more, as the phone didn't allow for easy texting. We found that we would hide behind technology if given the chance, and the dumb phone helped us expand our social capabilities.

We both tried going back to smartphones at different points, only to find ourselves slipping back into old habits and addiction patterns. This realization led us to believe that short technological detoxes are not enough to break the cycle of addiction. Instead, using a dumb phone for an extended period can help identify the root causes of our discomfort and dependence on technology.

Balance and privacy

Through this experience, we learned that we could find a balance between the need for certain smartphone features and the desire to live a simpler, less addictive lifestyle. For example, one of us found that a minimalistic Android-based phone, like the Unihertz Titan Pocket, was the perfect middle ground.

While we understand that the privacy concerns regarding data collection by Android and other smartphone operating systems are important, our focus in this experiment was primarily on breaking free from the addictive nature of smartphones.

In conclusion, our journey with dumb phones has been an eye-opening experience that has taught us valuable lessons about our relationship with technology. We've learned that it is possible to find a balance between convenience and simplicity, and that breaking free from smartphone addiction requires more than just a temporary detox. As we continue to explore unconventional choices and anti-cultural lifestyles, we hope to inspire others to question their dependence on technology and seek a more fulfilling way of life.

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