Instead, she’ll strike up a conversation with the person next to her.
“I think it’s a great way to actually see the people in front of you rather than looking at your screen when you’re uncomfortable in a situation,” she said.
Pollock said that she notices how the phone takes people’s attention while they are in conversation with others.
“There’s constantly notifications going off, so whenever I’m talking to someone, they’re constantly picking up their phone, looking at it and putting it down,” she said.
That can be “slightly frustrating,” said Pollock, but she has found ways to ignore it or address it.
Alternatives to smartphones
Ryan, who is set to receive the scholarship funds next year but is participating in the program along with 50 other students who did not receive the funds, uses a Light Phone, which is marketed as “technology intentionally designed to be used as little as possible,” according to its website.
There are several different options for people looking to drop their smartphones and switch to what is commonly called a “dumbphone.”
CNBC reported in March that the sale of flip phones was on the rise in the U.S. for one major flip phone distributor, HMD Global, which makes Nokia phones.
Merkel uses a flip phone.
“Almost immediately I noticed that my mind was a lot clearer after a week of not having a smartphone,” he said.
(Story continues below)
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Merkel told CNA that his friends “started taking notice” because his phone “looks like it’s from 2003.” But it has been a great conversation starter, and in speaking with his peers about modern-day cell phones, “no one actually likes their smartphones.”
He said many people tell him: “I wish I could give up my smartphone, but I just can’t.”
Merkel told CNA that prior to joining the scholarship, he believed he couldn’t give up his smartphone either. “I originally thought, ‘That would be so cool, but I just am not capable of it.’”
Additionally, Merkel said that switching to his flip phone has been a lot cheaper than his smartphone because he doesn’t pay for data and is only paying about $20 per month for unlimited talk and text.
“But I could probably even find a plan that’s cheaper than that,” he said.
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