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The Student News Site of Rochester Adams High School

The Adams Kilt

The Flip Phone Trend and What It Means for Gen Z

Flip phone collage (Photo Credit: Keya Shah)

On November 30, high-end fashion designer, Maison Margiela, released its very own flip phone with Samsung. This new edition is a take on Samsung’s popular foldable Flip5, which features details that highlight the haute couture brand. 

However, this stylish and sleek take on the smartphone isn’t the only device that’s turning heads lately. Studies have shown that a large population of Millenials and Gen Z are opting for classic flip phones.

A Gen Z’er rocking her vintage technology (Wall Street Journal)

“Online searches for flip phones are up 15,369% over the past year among Gen Z and younger Millennials,” said Artie Beaty, a writer for ZDNET website. 

Young adults in America are trying to avoid the screen age, something that has often been closely associated with their generation. So why are they returning to the past

The first flip phone was released by Motorola in 1996, a company that has a reputation for its  iconic flip phones and commercials. Since then, they have grown and evolved. As of late, a part of Gen Z is turning back time with a nostalgic swap. Teens and young adults are opting for flip phones because of the retro feel but also to distance themselves from their “toxic” smartphones. 

Better sleep, fewer migraines and reducing her screen time from 12 to 3 hours per day are all benefits to gain by switching to a flip phone. Which also led to less time comparing herself to others online,” said 21 year-old Caitlin Kunz, who went viral overnight on TikTok for purchasing a flip phone, gaining 3.2 million views.

Kunz isn’t the only teen realizing her life needs a reboot. Reports that American teens feel their lives revolve around mobile culture have been popping up. More than 90% of Americans have access to a smartphone, and the national teen average screen time totals to over 7 hours per day. 

The reason screen time is reaching unhealthy heights in today’s teenagers is because of smartphone’s addicting qualities. Smartphones are loaded with several time consuming apps and endless social media feeds to induce screen addictions

“I don’t feel right without my phone in my hand. It’s like a piece of me is missing,” said Bridget Kevelighan, an Adams senior who feels inseparable from her iPhone.

Although teens are constantly blamed for their unhealthy attachment to technology, it’s easy to argue the point that it’s all they’ve known. Growing up in the screen age has its advantages, but it also has the disadvantage of a predisposed appetite for screens. 

However, it appears that some teens are deciding to take back the part of their life that has been lost to the digital age and unplug as a form of detox. 

It’s actually been better to live in the moment…rather than checking your phone every five seconds,” said Kunz.

By switching to a flip phone, these teens can’t turn to distracting social media like before. 

Logan Lane, a seventeen year old New Yorker, founded a flip phone club in New York City as a form of escape from their smartphones. She and her club members share how enjoyable life is without a smartphone and/or social media. Lola Shub, another member of the flip phone club claims her life was instantly changed after switching to a flip [phone].

Members of the NYC flip phone club show off their phones. (The New York Times)

Lane admits to being completely consumed by social media before she switched over to older technology. 

The club’s initiative is to experience life for everything it has to offer. With regular smartphones, it’s harder to do so. With the constant artificial lives flooding feeds, the neverending notifications, and the algorithms designed specifically to suck teens in, smartphones hold people back from the life right in front of them. Shub agrees that social media and phones are not the real life so desperately craved. 

This resurgence of vintage technology may feel like a step backwards, but it could be a step forward into bettering mental health. These minimal phone alternatives produce a more socially engaged person without the harmful effects of social media or excessive screen time. Making this switch is certainly a dramatic one, but it may just be for the best. Whether it’s for mental wellness or the Y2K aesthetic, a flip phone could be the future…again.

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About the Contributor
Ava Hirvela
Ava Hirvela, Writer
Ava Hirvela is a senior at Adams High School and this is her first year writing for The Kilt. She enjoys styling fashion photo shoots, watching films, and writing. She is a board member of the UNICEF club and President of the Fashion club. Ava is very excited to start her journalism career. She is going to major in fashion design and minor in marketing and journalism. 

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