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(SKY NEWS) – Walk down any high street and you’ll most likely see people glued to their smartphones.
The devices have become so indispensable to users that recent research showed on average, people check them every 12 minutes.
But now more old fashioned technology is making a comeback.
Sales of so-called dumb phones have seen an increase for the first time in years.
Phones that simply make and receive calls are known in the industry as feature phones and are being marketed as a means to switch off from the constant connectivity we’ve all grown used to.
While global sales of smartphones rose by just 2% last year, feature phone sales went up by 5%.
Mary Erskine from Twickenham is among customers opting for a dumb phone to escape round the clock access to social media.
“I just hated the fact that I was always on it,” she said.
“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.
“(Switching to a dumb phone) is not full cold turkey because I do have my iPad, but it’s more about 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.”
Dr Daria Kuss, a chartered psychologist who has studied compulsive use of smartphones, believes some smartphone users develop a genuine addiction to their phones.
“They may be aware that they’re using it too much however they can’t stop themselves,” she said.
“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 association with addiction like withdrawal, preoccupation and loss of control.”
Research by Ofcom found 78% of British people said they couldn’t live without their smartphone while on average users spend 2 hours 28 minutes online on them a day, rising to 3 hours 14 minutes among 18 to 24-year-olds.