102 Comments
Dec 15, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

THE DEVIL’S WEIGHT

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Ha! So cool. I told my adult children I was leading the way in mental health improvement with my Nokia 3110 but they didn't believe me. Now if someone young (ish ha ha), cool and an influencer as massive as Alex is doing it then I know I am on trend. They bought me a Smart Phone Nokia to force me back inline (online) but since I have turned off every concievable part of it's tech it barely even knows it's a phone anymore and has driven itself crazy by not knowing it's location or purpose in the multiverse... back to the 3110 then!

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Dec 15, 2023·edited Dec 15, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

This made me laugh out loud in an urgent care waiting room like a real weirdo. Thank you.

When I was backpacking around the world (like 10 years ago) I had a dumb phone with TWO SIM cards that I loved. It cost me $25 euros and I had to add minutes to it like the poor person I was. When I came back to the States, I insisted on keeping it for a whole year before buying a new smart phone.

It was such a worthless phone- I couldn’t get group texts so I missed a lot of important work communication. I don’t think it even had emojis. But you know what, I felt free! The dumb phone met its demise when I dropped it and accidentally ran over it on my moped but you know what, it lived a good life and so did I! 😅

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Alex, this is a pleasure to read. Every word.

Can you notice a difference in the clarity of your thoughts now after a few weeks of less scrolling?

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I have thought about getting a dumb phone. My fear is that there are still things I might need the smartphone for, and that I end up with two phones. I don't want that. I'll give you an example. I buy movie tickets online in an app and then I get rewards that yield free popcorn, which isn't technically free because I bought a bunch of tickets, but damn it I love it when someone says something is free even if it isn't, and also I love popcorn, and I love feeling like a baller, and well, the AMC movie app gives me that feeling. So, what I'm asking, tech reporter / influencer guy, is if I can lose the smartphone and retain my AMC baller status? What does that look like logistically? Related: I'm traveling tomorrow. My plane ticket will appear in my phone's "wallet." Turns out the devil's weight has room for a wallet. Could I go dumb phone and still travel like I'm some sort of man from the future, or do I need paper tickets?

As for the low-tech thing you should review next, let me suggest a Thomas Guide. It's a map in book form. Before smartphones, and Yahoo Maps, we used Thomas Guides to get around Los Angeles. Last I heard, the Thomas people were still in the Guiding business. Give them a ring. Ask them if they'd be willing to send you a free Thomas Guide. And if you need help using it, let me know.

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This was the best review I've read in a long time. I'm super intrigued and almost influenced.

In the interest of not having to get a whole new device, are there ways to hack the iPhone to be dumber? Surely I'd think so, and I've done a few myself. Deleting apps, changing settings, etc. etc. Or is it just too enticing and too easy to bring back the addictive Ferrari pocket computer with a few thumb strokes?

One hot tip/small step that gave me a big change was getting a good old-fashioned alarm clock. I leave my phone downstairs at night and it's nowhere near where I sleep which means upon waking in the middle of the night, I can look to my left and see the time without needing to reach for something and then get distracted. And then when it's time to get up and officially start the day, I'm not reaching for my phone first thing. I get a little concerned that if there is an overnight emergency I would have no way of knowing/no one can get a hold of me or I will miss the tornado/apocalypse warning, but c'est la vie I guess????

I hear you on getting through the hard part of it and finding your way to the other side. It takes work but it is possible and worth it! 

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I’ve been curious about a light phone but I really can’t do without my camera to take pictures of my kids and maps. I actually have 2 phones. An iPhone with all social media removed (except Substack but I’m going to move that over) and my burner phone with Instagram, Facebook etc on it. My burner phone never leaves the house so my smart ‘dumb’ phone is all I have. There’s nothing to scroll so I don’t!

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Really laughed out loud at the first time a Jew celebrating Christmas line. You’re definitely an influencer. Hit Up Tesla!

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1. You should review the Wisephone. It's another kind of dumbphone that I hear is a little more user-friendly than the Light Phone. It also has a camera.

2. Already have. It's everything you say it is.

3. Having a camera and Signal messaging

4.

5. Yep, I didn't get a smartphone until I was 18-ish. I was second to last in my family to get one. I read more, imagined more, and was less stressed.

6.

7. Pretty evenly split on calls versus texts.

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Dec 15, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I stuck with a dumb flip phone for a very long time. The problem we had was coverage area. The phones I could find only had a subset of the cellular bands my carrier used, so I'd miss calls and texts. I'd get notice eventually, but for family with today's expectations, it was too much. I had to upgrade to a smart phone in 2018, when we had family members traveling to places where things can go wrong. If I had to go back to a dumb phone, I'd miss the coverage area, 5G works pretty well. I'd also miss the good camera, being able to check my email and search/maps. I'm still pretty sketchy about my cellular habits. I don't carry it around with me when I'm at home, so I still miss calls to my cell. It's a different story when I'm out, but I still miss calls. When I'm out and about and active I don't notice the vibrate and I keep the ring-tone set kinda low.

In any case, bravo to you! Brave soul.

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I dig the idea; why not just remove the extraneous apps from the phone you already have? I don’t have social or games on my phone.. I suppose I could remove gmail and... Substack and I’d more or less be in the same place.

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Dec 15, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Parking up the IPhone for few hours, sometimes a few a days at a time is definitely good for your mental health. Not so much for those trying to contact you, but those that know you well know the score, and those that don’t probably never will. And that’s ok. I think. Kids can’t compete with attention grabbing devices. And they know it. For that alone it’s worth what you are attempting Alex. Great stack. Thanks man.👏✍️

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Dec 15, 2023·edited Dec 15, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

you are so BRAVE - I know I’m addicted to my iPhone and I feel pretty awful about it i know it’s not healthy (and it drives my family crazy) but now that I’m writing on Substack I have to check my “activity” every three minutes after posting a new essay (does anyone “like” it? or the holy grail, a new “comment”?) pathetic i know (leaving out the periods and a few caps to practice Alex speak) I know I should re-think this behavior THANKS Alex, truly, for a great report on your new light phone INSPIRING

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Dec 15, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Inspiring!

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I have a dumb phone. An iPhone and an Android too.

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Is the comparison Ferrari / Corolla, or more like Corolla / horse?

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