New trend among Gen Z’ers replaces their smartphones in exchange for the benefits of mental health
He feels as though he has made the right decision stating that, “Initially, it was to stop wasting time on social media, but after my phone broke I realized that it was affecting my mental state a lot more than I was aware of. I save a lot of money too. My phone cost £12 ($17.01) on eBay and I’m on pay-as-you-go for 1p a minute and 1p a text. I actually enjoy the moments now where I have nothing to do and just think, rather than worry about everything going on online.”
Jade says that it can be scary being out in the world without being helped by instant connectivity. But he says that people do get used to it eventually. “And besides, you never know if you’ll like it unless you try it.”
One former smartphone user now feels “a million times better”
Mateo says that by mostly using a feature phone instead of a smartphone, he notices that he is no longer as distracted as he once was and as he notes, “Now, when I’m waiting for something or walking, I’ve got so much time to think. It’s helped me be more comfortable with my own thoughts, and I didn’t realize that that’s actually something you’ve got to train yourself to do.”
Dr. Daria Kuss, associate professor at Nottingham Trent University, is an expert on the psychological effects of internet and technology use. She says that using feature phones will engage users for only limited amounts of time leaving users more available to do things with family and friends such as engaging in additional recreational activities.
For Eden, Jade and Mateo, having a useful app like Google Maps 24/7 is not worth missing out on the mental health benefits of not using a smartphone. Eden, for one, says that he feels “a million times better” having given up his smartphone.