The salesman at Verizon stared at me as if I escaped an insane asylum. His bloodshot eyes opened wide and he looked at me in disbelief. Finally, he opened his mouth and replied, “I have never been asked that question before, I’m not sure if we even carry flip phones.” He shuffles his way to the back room to consult with his coworkers. I take a seat on the right side of a furry red sofa next to an older man. Without my iPhone, I am left in an uncomfortable position. What am I suppose to do while I wait? I decide to do what most people did in the 1920’s, people watch. I glanced to my left, at the white-haired man on my left, he was playing solitaire through the glass screen. I then surveyed the remaining people in the room, without surprise, every single person was either scrolling, texting, playing, or taking a selfie on their smartphone. Each and every square foot of self-space was infested with these incarcerating devices. I felt a tap on my shoulder and the Verizon sales assistant handed me their one and only flip phone in stock and said, “Man, that was not easy to find. Are you buying this for your grandparents or something?”


About a month ago, I made a very huge change in my life. I got rid of my smartphone. I went to Verizon, and purchased the only flip-phone they had in stock, and gave my “iPhone X” to my mom. For the last two years or so, I have been having an existential crisis. I felt as if I was not able to be as productive as I wanted to be. After spending countless hours addressing the problem, I realized that it was all because of my phone. Due to me having a smartphone at the age of 8, and having no restrictions, the use of the smartphone has been programmed in my brain. I would spend 2-3 hours per night on my phone in my bed, and the first thing I would do each morning is to check my phone. The issue was that, I would always go to bed late due to being on my phone, then I would wake up with no energy,  have little energy during the day, and be less productive.


After I got rid of my phone, I go to sleep at 9:00 pm, wake up at 5:00 am, and have an entire day to be productive: My sleep has gotten better. My energy has gotten better. My productivity has gotten better. My happiness has gotten better. My daily mood is better. I feel like I can reach out and achieve anything I want to in this world. Last night, I read an article from the New York Times about the danger of smartphones, already being one month with my flip-phone, and I agree from a first-person perspective with everything in the article.

Jake Blanchfield