My journey from a flip phone to a smartphone, and back to a (smart) flip phone

My last three phones

As some of the people reading know, I had a flip phone (a Kyocera DuraXTP, to be precise) until late December 2021.

I was, and still am, on a family phone plan. When the rest of my family switched to smartphones, I went with a flip phone because smartphones were much more expensive and I was poor. But after a while, as cheap(er) smartphones became available, it became sort of a combination of wanting to see just how long I can survive with a flip phone in an increasingly smartphone-orientated world, being leery of just how easy it is to get drawn into social media/internet when you have a browser in your pocket. And, in recent years, I also grew leery of participating in the certain aspects of smartphone-centric world. For example, rideshare platforms like Uber and Lyft are built on labor exploitation and investor subsidies, and I could neatly avoid all the moral quandaries that come with using apps by having a phone that didn’t support them. I liked having my transit passes on physical cards and buying (or printing out) physical tickets. And, like I said, I just didn’t like the thought of being connected to the Internet all the time. It may seem counterintuitive, given that I’m a journalist, but I appreciated the fact that, when took the ‘L’ train, the lack of onboard wi-fi forced me to disconnect and gave me a respite from work concerns, even if for less than an hour.

Now, in a bit that’s going to be a recurring motif in this post, I should mention that my mom got less and less amused by my choice the longer this went on. She would never go so far as to tell me to get a smartphone already, in those exact words, but she made her displeasure known. In 2018, when my phone screen suddenly stopped working and I had to get a new phone, I was almost resigned to getting a smartphone. But my mom kept gloating how I would “finally be joining the 21st century,” and I ended up getting a flip phone out of sheer spite. Which is how I got the Kyocera.

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