Gen Z Embracing ‘Dumbphones’ in Digital Minimalism Trend

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A growing trend among Gen Zs is the shift towards digital minimalism, with many opting for ‘dumbphones’ with minimal features to combat doomscrolling. This trend has been quietly gaining momentum, with Gen Z being the only generation to decrease their time spent on social media since 2021, according to research from GWI.

The appeal of dull and basic phones has surged among Gen Zs, as they seek to break away from the negative effects of excessive screen time. One such phone, aptly named The Boring Phone, has captured the interest of young people looking to detach themselves from their smartphones in favor of simpler devices.

Launched at Milan design week in collaboration with Heineken beer and fashion retailer Bodega, The Boring Phone is part of a larger trend towards dumbphones among Gen Z. This generation is increasingly turning away from the constant technological advancements that have defined their upbringing.

This shift in interest is driven by concerns that tech products are diminishing attention spans and increasing stress among young people. This sentiment has sparked a resurgence of retro cultural items, known as Newtro, including vinyl records, cassettes, 8-bit video games, and vintage phones.

The nostalgia for classic models like the Nokia 3310 has led to a resurgence in interest, with the phone relaunched in 2017. The recent rise in popularity of flip phones in the US, spurred on by TikTokers using the #bringbackflipphones hashtag, has seen a significant increase in sales for companies like HMD and Punkt.

While smartphones from major brands like Apple and Samsung are not currently threatened by the dumbphone trend, there is evidence that Gen Z is modifying their smartphone usage. Concerns about the negative impacts of constant digital connection are prompting many young people to seek ways to disconnect.

Research shows that three in five Gen Zers express a desire to reduce their digital dependence, driven by concerns about privacy and the invasive nature of social media platforms. This shift towards digital minimalism may create opportunities for older technologies to make a comeback, although complete disconnection in today’s digital world remains challenging.

In conclusion, the trend of Gen Z embracing ‘dumbphones’ as a form of digital minimalism reflects a growing awareness of the drawbacks of constant connectivity. This shift highlights the need for a balance between technology use and offline activities in order to maintain mental well-being and privacy in the digital age.