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I Was Addicted to My Smartphone, So I Switched to a Flip Phone for a Month


This time of year, everyone asks what you like least about your life, but they phrase it as, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?”

My biggest regret of 2023 was my relationship to my smartphone, or my “tech appendage” as I’ve named it in my iPhone settings. My Apple Screen Time reports regularly clocked in at more than five hours a day.

That’s only an hour more than the average American, but I still found it staggering to think that I spent the equivalent of January, February and half of March looking at that tiny screen (April too, if we only count waking hours).

Sure, some (much?) of that time was gainfully spent on activities that enrich my life or are unavoidable: work, family text threads, reading the news and keeping up with far-flung friends. But I reached for the device more than 100 times each day according to my report. And that grasping was increasingly accompanied by the kind of queasy regret that I associate with unhealthy behavior — that feeling I get after I drink too many glasses of wine, finish the whole bag of sour gummies or stay at the poker…

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