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Switching From Smart To Dumb Phone The Clever Choice, Says Canadian Youtuber

Switching from a smart to a dumb phone is the smart thing to do, according to Canadian Spencer Campbell.

He's part of a back to the future movement extolling the virtues of the dumb phone, phones where you can call, text, and sometimes you can play Snake but that is about it.

Campbell has been on the dumb phone train for over a year now. He runs a YouTube channel called Spencer's Adventures where he tries to show the benefits of a frugal relationship with technology and consumerism.

He made the switch because his life became just too distracted, he tells Nights.

"I was finding that there was just so much distraction that was coming from my smart devices, namely, my smartphone."

And he started to notice his attention span deteriorating, he said.

"You can't really put a finger on exactly what's causing it or why that might be, you just think that you don't maybe have the attention span that you used to."

Not surprising, he said, when the average person checks their smartphone every six and a half minutes.

"It really does take up a large part of your life, whether or not you really intend for that to be the case."

The move has given him more control over his time, he said.

"I like to think about it as how to get the most out of the technology without letting it get the most out of you."

The so-called dumb phone means he can disconnect from "all the bad stuff", he said.

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"I don't want companies extracting my data, or trying to take my attention and get a hold of it in order to show me advertising so that they can meet their bottom line.

"I want to get the things that are beneficial for me out of my technology, but then leaving the rest behind."

So, does he have a bad case of FOMO? Not so much, Campbell said.

"Everybody else still is connected with these smart devices. So I'm very quickly going to hear about anything that majorly important occurs just from the people immediately around me.

"But the good thing, the thing that I really want to highlight is that I'm missing a lot of the things that a lot of people don't want from those devices as well.

"All of the kind of fear of missing out type of things that you get from social media, all of those things that kind of make you feel less than."

In fact, his phone is so basic even texting is a chore, he said.

"I don't know if you remember, typing with a T9-style keyboard it's not the fastest way to type, it makes it actually tough to send a text message.

"So, it makes me more likely to reach for the phone call itself and have that more social interaction rather than just talking in sound bites."

So, what does he do with all the free time he now has? Embrace the boredom, Campbell said.

"I think it's important to find those moments of solitude and of boredom. And those things are in a lot more in supply when you use something like a dumb phone, because you're just not able to fill your time with everything all at once."

And if you can't bear the thought of parting with your smartphone, there are ways to slightly dumb it down, he said.

"Some of the things that I do with my work phone, so I'm able to still use it but not feel like it's using me too much, is I turn off all of my notifications, that is one thing I've turned all of them off. That's text, that's calls, that's emails, that's everything."

If you're checking your phone every six and a half minutes anyway, you're not going to miss anything, he said.

"And then another thing is you can turn your phone from colour to black and white, it's in the accessibility settings of your phone, and it just makes it a little less flashy. And you just, you just find something subconsciously makes you not want to look at it as long."

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