SALES of “dumb” phones are growing as people get sick of being constantly buzzed by social media.
That’s the name given to feature phones, retro-style handsets that lack the “smart” tech in modern-day smartphones.
According to recent research by Ofcom, the average Brit checks their phone every 12 minutes, and is online for 24 hours each week.
The report also found that 78% of Brits couldn’t live without their smartphone.
Data shows that the average Brit now spends two-and-a-half hours per day on their smartphone, rising to three hours and 14 minutes for 18- to 24-year-olds.
And this growing obsession with staying online may be linked to a major change in the way we buy gadgets.
According to Counterpoint Research, the global smartphone market grew by 2% last year ‚Äď to 1.6billion devices shipped.
But worryingly, it shrank by 5% in the last quarter of 2017.
Meanwhile,¬†sales of feature phones rose to 450million devices in 2017, which is a promising 5% jump.
Counterpoint’s Shobhit Srivastava said the issue is linked to the “upgrade rate of users”, suggesting people are less willing to fork out for pricey new blowers ‚Äď when their current mobiles work just fine.
But people simply can’t seem to switch off with smartphones, either.
Dr Daria Kuss is a chartered psychologist who studies the “compulsive use” of smartphones, and has warned that users can develop a genuine addiction.
Speaking to Sky News, Dr Kuss said:¬†“They may be aware that they’re using it too much however they can’t stop themselves.
“They may be afraid to miss out on anything that may be happening on their social media channels being one of the reasons why they use it compulsively, and this may lead to symptoms that have been associated with addiction like withdrawal, preoccupation and loss of control.”
Sky News spoke to one Brit who had bought a “dumb” feature phone to use, and who said her pestering smartphone was to blame.
“I just hated the fact that I was always on it,” revealed Mark Erskine, from Twickenham.
“My friend said the other day, ‘you check it 150 times a day’. You’re always on Facebook pages and Instagram and you’re just on everything.
“And the more you do it, the more you feel like you need to do it.”
She said she hadn’t gone “full cold turkey”, because she still had an iPad ‚Äď but said the feature phone had given her more choice.
“If I want to go out with just the dumb phone then you can make a choice and have a day without all the noise of all the notifications and apps.”
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Tech companies are very aware about the fact that their customers are worried about their phone usage.
The feature, which will be available in September as part of the iPhone’s iOS 12 update, shows you how many times you unlock your phone, and how much time you spend in each app.
It also lets you set limits for yourself, making it so your phone locks you out of addictive apps like Facebook or Instagram after a certain amount of time.
If you want to try it out, read our iOS 12 beta download guide here.
Google has introduced a similar feature for its phones as part of the new Android 9.0 Pie update.
Check to see our Android Pie release schedule to find out when your phone is getting it.
Are you getting sick of your smartphone? Let us know in the comments!