The REAL problem of smartphone addiction is much simpler. It's the touch screen.

In the past, there were button smartphones like BlackBerry. There were some people who were addicted to it like a crackhead was to the pipe, but I don’t think it was as common as today simply because of the lack of the touch screen.

Using a touch screen is the pleasure - you can tap, drag with your finger, similarly to real life, therefore probably making touch screens one of most addictive user interfaces available with current technology. Buttons, however, not so much - you had to first select a choice with a directional pad and then execute it with pressing the center button. The only exception when it was lots of pleasure was typing - if the keyboard was high quality.

Since it’s unlikely that everyone would just dump touch-screen smartphones for button dumbphones, we should ask Apple to remake a button smartphone. Unfortunately, websites and apps are already designed for touch screen because of the iPhone, so OK, a small touch screen (the one under 3") is acceptable. That small screens are nowhere as addictive as bigger ones.

This is an interesting idea. I recently moved to a religious community in Israel and discovered that a large portion of the population only carry dumb phones on them. These phones often don’t even have texting. It’s a bit mind boggling to think about operating this way in this day and age but they are doing just fine.

I originally thought that works for THEM because they don’t use the internet… but that’s not true at all. I actually met a few folks who work in Digital Marketing and just keep all of their technology in their office so that they can completely disconnect. They still carry a phone for emergencies but no email/texting.

This is not to say this is something that’s feasible but I think the OPTION being available is a fascinating concept and one that could enable people to take control of their own destiny technologically.

Is it possible that the battle is not with apple but more with our employers and clients? They are typically the justification for being “always on”…


I would never take a job that wanted me always on and fwiw lots of videos on youtube that have commentary from mathematics experts cracking code for nsa, many are guys with black suit and beard and peyes and go to guys in technical fields. Many can do both idk how but it can be done.

I totally agree. At the end of the day, it’s all about creating more comfortable and easy to use mediums so addiction is easily spread. You are basically removing the entry and engagement barriers.