How to Go Back to a Flip Phone

 by Leah Groth
The lack of physicality is what I first noticed, said Katy Reid, 29. In February, she gave up her iPhone and switched to a flip phone.

"The lack of physicality is what I first noticed," said Katy Reid, 29. In February, she gave up her iPhone and switched to a flip phone. “It feels like my body is missing something.” This phantom-like feeling lasts for about a month. Flip phones will never have the same power for you. In order to make this change tolerable, let yourself slowly. For Reid, who is the director of digital media at a boys' school in Baltimore, the process took years. First, do a self-diagnosis of your smartphone. "If something tells you in your heart that it is not good for you, then explore it," Reed said. She found that she continued to use social networking sites, especially Twitter, to make her both anxious and painful.

She started by deleting the social media software on her iPhone. That might be enough, but if you still feel a sense of compulsion that makes you feel uncomfortable, then consider flipping the phone. Start to pay more attention to geography. Reed was most worried about losing a GPS-enabled map. Without them, you need to plan ahead by looking up the map and then printing or writing it down. “I bought some maps in my car,” Reid said. You will get lost occasionally. But rest assured, there are smartphones around; in the United States, about 80% of adults have a cell phone. You can ask for directions. Others can help you play Uber or Lyft. Recently, Reid’s one-year-old daughter had a birthday party. "I didn't take any pictures," she said, but of course she knew that other people would shoot.

Be prepared to face clumsy SMS input prediction technology. For Reid, this T9 input method—that is, the input method without a full keyboard—is the most annoying thing about flip phones. You will end up calling people more.

Social interaction can be challenging. People are embarrassed to laugh at you or use a mobile phone in front of you. Your parents may be annoyed. Bystanders will think that you hate technology. Maybe you are like this, but Reid is not. She spends a long time sitting in front of the computer every day, but she no longer has the desire to re-use the smartphone. “There was an expectation in the past that I could be contacted at any time,” Reid said. "I don't want to be forced to respond to those news."


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