‘Flip phone challenge’ offers $1,000 to ditch smartphone for one week
What’s life like without a smartphone? No Internet, no camera, and no Google Maps at your fingertips. If you can survive that, you have a chance to win $1,000.
Utah-based Internet and phone service provider Frontier Communications is selecting a candidate to use a flip phone — the kind popular in the mid to late 1990s — for one week and live life without a smartphone.
“With the 30th anniversary of the first flip phone, Frontier is looking for a brave soul willing to ditch their smartphone for a week and go old school with nothing but a flip phone,” said Frontier spokesperson Javier Mendoza in an email.
With more than 30,000 applicants participating, according to Mendoza, the winner will be paid $1,000 to conduct the experiment and record how long it takes them to do simple tasks like texting and checking emails, and whether they will be late for appointments.
The winner is also encouraged to write down how many hours they would sleep without using smartphones, the company says. According to a recent study by Imperial College London, nighttime mobile phone use was associated with higher odds of a lack of sleep on weekdays.
In Frontier’s contest, the selected person will be offered a so-called survival kit, a package containing alternatives for some smartphone functions. It consists of a pocket phonebook, a physical map to make up for GPS, and a pen and notebook.
The winner can still listen to music, but instead of an app, they’ll receive some CDs with songs from the ’90s.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Frances Yue on Twitter @YunfanYue
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