Gen Z is rehabilitating the flip phone

It was yesterday, and yet it was another time. In 2005, the best-selling mobile phone was called the Motorola Razr, recalls Mashable. this flip phone was so prominent that there was even a special, limited edition version of it in the 2005 Oscars giveaway bag. Paris Hilton and Rihanna were also seen proudly sporting the pink edition, so fashionable at this time.

With the advent of smartphones, flip phones were thought to be definitely outdated, but the Generation Z (no relation with Eric Zemmour) is definitely full of surprises. Mashable interviewed young people in their twenties who acquired a used flip phone for a variety of reasons.

In the case of Amber Giesen, 26, it was a Y2K-themed fancy dress party that sparked the purchase of a pink Razr on eBay. She also filmed the opening of the package and the phone test on his TikTok account. The low resolution of the camera and the rudimentary nature of the games offered are almost presented as charming assets. The famous appeal of vintage …

On TikTok, precisely, the hashtag #flipphone could not be more popular, with over 227 million cumulative views. Often embellished with cute little stickers, the flip phone is praised for its old-fashioned charm, but also for its suitability to be used as burner phone. This term designates single-use phones, unrelated to the identity of their owner, and which therefore allow you to manage any business or play any joke while being much less afraid of getting caught.

At The Digital Fairy, a creative agency renowned for its specialists in internet culture, we have also closely examined what we call the “Fall of the Apple aesthetic” among teenagers and young adults in search of authenticity – hence the return to wired headphones but also to camcorders, very popular with young videographers.

But the look isn’t everything. It will not have escaped anyone’s notice that a flip phone from 2005 does not provide exactly the same services as a smartphone produced in 2021. But some members of Gen Z, including some of the most influential ones, are putting it back. the word “disconnection” at the center of the debate.

Because if it is very difficult to get out of TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram when you have a state-of-the-art Apple or Samsung, including having made a pact with yourself, it is on the other hand much simpler. to find the famous “real life” when you have a phone that doesn’t do much more than phone and text.

“It’s time to grab a flip phone for the summer and take a break from these toxic social networks”, could we read in a TikTok video published in April. The digital detoxeven temporary, is increasingly popular, including among young people. And it is undoubtedly thanks to less sophisticated telephones than the current models that it will be possible for them to disconnect for real.

Seven hours and twenty-two minutes: it is, on average, the daily screen time of today’s teens – which does not include the use of a computer for school or for homework. Going back to an old phone model means staying reachable while discovering the true length of the days. About boomer which are not, however, devoid of truth.

Is a life without a smartphone allowed?

Mashable takes the example of 23-year-old Berkeley graduate Nicky Shapiro, who used an Alcatel flip phone from February to May 2021, only resuming to reuse a smartphone out of professional obligation. Shapiro was motivated by the melancholy of a time he had never known: when people used pay phones and read the newspaper on paper.

The young man says he particularly appreciated having got rid of a painful habit: that of unsheathing his smartphone all the time and opening his internet browser to type anything, even when he had nothing. to search.

Amber Giesen plans to actually use the Motorola phone she originally bought for her theme party. Without separating from her smartphone, she thinks of using the flip-flop Razr to go to music festivals, which would rid her of the urge to post concert videos or browse social networks while there has groups to see and people to chat with.

The fact remains that our time makes it more and more difficult not to own a smartphone. Very often, you have to present a QR code (health pass, entrance ticket …) or reimburse your friends thanks to apps like Venmo or Tricount. In addition, some websites require two-factor authentication to connect, which requires having your smartphone on hand. “Now it’s almost impossible to have a job in town without owning a smartphone, explique Nicky Shapiro. You would really have to be very privileged to be able to live permanently with just a flip phone … “

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