The Red & Black publishes opinions from a number of contributors and staff columnists. Their opinions do not reflect the opinions of the editorial staff. The editorial staff is in no way involved with the opinion pieces published with the exception of editorials. Editorials are written by the editorial board consisting of the opinion editor, managing editor and editor-in-chief. Editorials are clearly marked EDITORIAL at the beginning. This article is from staff writer Mariah Manoylov, a junior English major.
You’ll often hear it spoken in movie theaters and University of Georgia classrooms: please put away your cell phone. Most of the time, they’re referring to smart phones, or the notification hubs sitting solidly in our pockets for the majority of our day.
However, movie theaters and professors actually advise us to do the right thing by telling us to put away smartphones. Put away your smart phones all together and get a flip phone. The benefits of having one outweigh the perks of having a smart phone.
How many of us have dropped our smartphone and picked it up with cracks webbing the screen? Such is the fragility of a smartphone. Flip phones, on the other hand, can be dropped many times and suffer minimal, if any damage. You could throw it against the wall for all the flip phone cares, and still it would suffer no screen cracks and no unusable function.
And when you’re not busy throwing your flip phone against various substrate, you don’t have to worry about charging batteries either. Flip phones can last a week on a single charge, reducing the probability of it dying when you need it most. How many of us have missed class because our phone alarms died in the middle of the night?
Best of all, flip phones do not come preloaded with distractions. Most smartphones come pre-programmed with social media apps such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Social media lulls consumers into prolonged usage of their platform through addictive algorithms and exploitation of neurochemicals like dopamine.
In an interview with the American Marketing Association, associate professor Mauricio Delgado, associate professor of psychology at Rutgers University in NJ, had this to say about the habit-forming dopamine loops of social media on smartphones:
“Often, if you have the earliest predictor of a reward — a sign of a social media alert, like your phone buzzing — you get a rush of dopamine from that condition stimulus. That might trigger you to go check out the outcome, to see what it is. That type of reinforcement is something that you now seek out.”
A mere social media alert can give you a rush of dopamine, which entices you to get more dopamine by checking your social media. By not having these apps in your pocket for easy perusal, you are distancing yourself from casual addictions that waste time throughout your day.
And by gaining time in your day by forgoing a smartphone, you improve your focus and productivity by not having a distraction next to you at all times. There’s even a study from the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research stating that having a smartphone nearby will reduce cognitive functioning altogether. This is because the mere act of stopping yourself from checking your phone diverts mental energy from other tasks. Remove the distraction once and for all and rejoice in the benefits.
Put some simplicity back into your life with a flip phone. You may flip out during the withdrawal periods of a smartphone, but the benefits will be worth it.