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Luddite Teens: Why More Young People Are Staying Off Their Phones

Luddite teens

What are Luddite teens, and how are they influencing media usage? Read on to learn more about the mini-rebellion that today’s young people are waging against time-consuming technology.

All teenagers these days are obsessed with their phones and with social media, right? Not so fast! News reports have been challenging the stereotype that kids and phones are joined at the hip. Last December, the New York Times ran an article about a Luddite Club at a high school. Some members have switched to retro flip phones (which are hip again!). Others simply weaned themselves off of constantly checking and using their devices.

The idea is catching on, as more teens ditch screens to enjoy low-tech life. Are your kids pushing back against 24/7 smartphone access? How can you help them unplug and reap the many benefits of doing so?

Luddite Teens Hang Up on Phone Usage

The original Luddite was a real-life weaver in the 1700s who literally raged against his machines. Today a Luddite refers to anyone who opposes new technological improvements or advancements.

While the original Luddites were mainly concerned about losing their jobs, modern-day Luddite teens and adults often just want a break. Being on screens for school, work, socializing, shopping, navigating, movie-watching, gaming, and reading is tough on the eyes and body.

Surfing the internet and using social media can become addicting too. And platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat can take a toll on teenagers’ emotional and mental well-being.

In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers sought a sweet spot of smartphone usage. They concluded that “conscious and controlled changes of daily time spent on smartphone use can contribute to subjective well-being (less depressive and anxiety symptoms, less problematic use tendencies, more life satisfaction) and to a healthier lifestyle (more physical activity, less smoking behavior) in the longer term.”

Discoveries by Luddite Teens

Teens who aren’t tied to their phones are making amazing discoveries. They’re learning new hobbies, meeting new IRL (in real life) friends, and viewing the world from different angles. When kids aren’t constantly posting photos to attract likes and followers, they discover new things about themselves, too.