Social networks, internet connection from anywhere and a state-of-the-art mobile phone. In a hyper-connected world, it seems impossible to think that so-called ‘dumb phones’ -as opposed to the term ‘smartphone’ or smartphone in English- come back to are experiencing an increase in sales today.
They reigned in the early 2000s and are only used to call or send messages, without an internet connection and, therefore, without the possibility of accessing social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or TikTok. What was in its time a real revolution, the first mobile phones, today they can be found on portals like Wallapop for only 20 euros. Those colloquially known as “bricks” have given way to more sophisticated models up to today’s “smartphones”, which can cost more than 1,000 euros.
However, a study carried out by a consulting firm specializing in the analysis of global trends in the technology and communication sector, Counterpoint, points to the resurgence of “dumb” mobiles, with 1,000 million sales made in 2020, compared to 400 million made in 2019. The interest in devices of yesteryear can also be seen in Google searches, which show a 89% increase between 2018 and 2021 in queries related to “dumb” phonesaccording to a report by software company SEMrush.
A mobile “of all life” with a minimum of expenses
Acquiring a cheap mobile phone, without the possibility of connecting to the Internet, was the option chosen by Joaquín Martínez, who at 49 has never used a smartphone and manages with a “lifetime” phone to communicate with his family. , his friends and co-workers. “I don’t know how many years I’ve had this phone. I bought a very simple mobile from Jaca and it never broke“, underlines Martínez. One of the advantages that he sees in this type of device is its cost: “I pay a rate of ten euros per month to have unlimited calls, and that’s it”.
On the other hand, a recent study carried out by Unicef reveals that one in three Spanish teenagers make “problematic use” of social networks and screens associated with technology. This derives from the report “The impact of technology on adolescence” prepared with the participation of more than 50,000 Spanish adolescents. The average age at which a minor perceives the first mobile phone with internet is 11 years old and almost all participants in the report say they connect to the network.
“More than an addiction, we are talking about excessive or inappropriate use of the mobile phone. This can be seen from your device, by seeing its usage time and if it is several hours. When you realize you’re having trouble concentrating, people tell you they can’t talk to you without you staring at the screen or feeling anxious to be connected with what we have in front of us. Because we can be connected to millions of things, but disconnected from what we have next to us”, explains the psychologist specializing in addiction to new technologies Cristina Rocafort.
The psychologist admits to seeing an increase in patients addicted to mobile phones in her practice located in the Aragonese capital. Rocafort prefers that users learn how to manage mobile use to avoid it, but acknowledges that using a “dumb” phone can sometimes help. “It can help to better heal relationships because, for example, if you need something you will call, that is to say: I communicate less, but better”, he concludes.