HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork)– Like most of her friends in Hastings-on-Hudson, 16-year-old Janie Litvin was married to her smartphone.

She grew weary of the constant “ding” notification as the backdrop to her life, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports. When her smartphone shattered, she decided to give it up.

“I decided to get a flip phone instead,” she said.

It’s a dinosaur of the cellular age and she loves it.

“If you’re a teenage girl, having an iPhone can be very stressful. You’ll turn away from your phone and you’ll come back five minutes later and you’ll have 200 messages and 10 Snapchats, and like 15 notifications on Facebook. And just– it’s a lot. I just thought it was too much,” she said.  

At first, it was a bit of an adjustment.

“I was so used to doing my pre-bed Instagram check and responding to Snapchats,” she said

But she started to see the irony of so-called social media.

“You’ll be in a room and people will be Snapchatting each other, they’ll be texting each other– from within the room,” she said.

The teen said she now observes more and is present in the moment.

“I’m not so much more tempted to look at my phone, I just look around me and you see a lot, you learn a lot,” she said.

Her mom Lisa Litvin, has come to understand why her daughter made the switch.

“I didn’t get it at first ’cause I wasn’t sure why she didn’t want a phone, or an iPhone, and I didn’t appreciate all the other stuff that came with an iPhone for a teenager that drove her nuts,” she said. “I really get it now.”

Janie Litvin’s friends were upset at first, but they’re adapting. She may be the last one to know what’s going on, but she said that’s okay.

“It’s great not to have to respond to everything immediately, and to not have to be constantly present with your phone worrying that you’re going to miss something,” she said.

Comments (58)
  1. Busymom4 says:

    She’s one smart girl! Kids don’t need smart phones. Period. The time our kids (and adults for that matter) waste on their phones, and social media is appalling and almost irresponsible. Teens spend 9 hours a day in front of a screen, that does not include the (average) of 22 mins of school work done at home on computer per night (stats from Common Sense Media). Parents, delay access to smart phones for as long as possible with your kids. They will be so much better off for it, and have more time for things that are more important and beneficial for them. From, Mom of 4 (speaking from experience!)

  2. Ida Tarbell says:

    She flipped the bird to the smartphone, opted for Flip Phone instead. Flippers strive for constancy!

  3. Gary Lockley says:

    I ditched my smartphone over five years ago. There are still multiple ways people can get in touch with me: land line, email, write a letter, 2m ham radio, HF ham radio, telegram or they can show up at my door.
    All those preaching for emergency use are just ignorant of how emergencies were handled prior to mobile phones.
    But no matter, those codependent users that can’t live without their fondle-slab of choice are welcome to their world. A world that ends at the border of my property. Put it in the Faraday box or go home. Simple.
    Yeah, yeah … doesn’t work for you and I’m just wrong. Right … go home. Remember?

  4. James McGill, ESQ says:

    That’s a bit radical. I have a smart phone but have no social media apps installed. Problem solved.

  5. twistedmuser says:

    Heres a wild thought. Turn off notifications

  6. pianodancer says:

    Traded my smartphone and all its contracts for a simple “dumb phone” where I pay for what airtime I use. I have a laptop at home for email, Facebook, games. I can still text and do phone calls on my dumb phone, but I’m saving myself more than $100 a month! It doesn’t feel dumb at all! 🙂

  7. I don’t blame her one bit, I refuse to get a smartphone or iphone. I never will, my flip phone does just fine, I am old school to be honest. In fact for the longest time I even resisted getting a cell phone when I did it was a flip phone. In my opinion a phone is to make calls, if you want to go on the internet, go home to your computer. People are seriously like zombies with these things, I can see alot of neck problems down the line for people staring down constantly at their phones. LOL!!!

  8. Dale says:

    Being a flip phoner myself, the biggest “pain” is receiving texts from smart phones that come in as multi media files. They really chew up memory. Constantly have to remind my friends that if you only texting, send it as text.

  9. John Hill says:

    The mother didn’t get it at first?!?!?!?!?!?!? Last night in a restaurant I saw a 2 yo tantrum because his mother didn’t give him his ipad fast enough. That’s unbelievable. Nothing like over stimulating the left cerebral cortex of toddlers and preschoolers to the exclusion of social learning. Parents are the biggest perpetrators of Clueless Parenting syndrome!!!! Why aren’t you setting healthy modeling for your children. Just pathetic!!!!

    1. twistedmuser says:

      Because it’s difficult to raise a child properly. Who would have thought!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Society really needs to wake up and realize that everything about their lives is being recorded in digital format. Cutting the strings to debit cards, credit cards, and all the apps on your digital tracking / recording device (aka phone) is the first step in regaining ones anonymity.

  11. Tom says:

    Good kid! I’m a 48-year-old flip phone user and will fight the “upgrade” ’til they no longer offer flip phones. Life’s better lived in reality instead of through a screen.

  12. Mike Arvand says:

    Smart girl. Social media is no substitute for real life.

  13. Debbie says:

    I’ve observed everyone around me glued to their iphones and I decided I did not want to become them. So, I’ve never had a i phone. I’m very content with my flip top phone. It’s all I need. I’m engaged in what is going on around me. Glad others are seeing the light, too

  14. Garth says:

    What a delightfully refreshing smart girl. Young people today are glued to their cellphones to their ultimate detriment. My own son can’t even read a map.

  15. Gary Canant says:

    Congratulations dear lady!
    You are now worthy of being hired!
    You will soon be able to think for yourself and read maps and charts.
    You will never be lost when internet access is denied by martial law or the enemy.

    1. Wreck It Ralph says:

      you do know that just because she gave up her smart phone doesn’t mean she’s going to take up map reading and paranoid survival skill training don’t you?

  16. It’s a story because it’s a trend. And these comments are part he story because the comments show that others are doing the same and this also reveals the trend. Trends are newsworthy because they help people (business, policy makers, etc.) plan for the future

  17. FYI Janie Snapchat, Instagram, and FaceBag can be uninstalled. Hope you don’t ever need an Uber or get lost driving without maps.

    1. Orin Walker says:

      Fool. Never heard of a paper map? That’s right, mommy never let you broaden your horizons huh?

    2. steve says:

      Wow, I think you missed the point here. It is called being self aware and confident in your ability to live without the Iphone teddy bear. But then your icon says it all.

  18. Thomas says:

    While I applaud this young lady and I think it is an interesting human interest story, I also recognize that even when she had her smart phone she was 100% in control of what apps were on her phone and whether she used them or not.

    I understand that in this situation, her smart phone broke and she choose to replace it with a “flip phone”. But even if her smart phone did not break, she still could have severed her link to social media.

    But in any case, good luck to this young lady. 🙂

    1. York says:

      You don’t understand the reason she did this instead of just uninstalling the apps? It is pretty simple really. She realized she was addicted to the social media apps… Yes she could have just deleted them but the ability to reinstall them and use them again would still be there. By using a flip phone that was no longer a possibility. Look at it as if you were an alcoholic, you wouldn’t have to drink just because you had a bottle in the cabinet but it would make it much easier for you to remain sober if you threw out the bottles. That’s what she did…. Also by using a flip phone she is probably saving about $50 a month by not having to have a data plan. If you weren’t going to use the apps why pay for the data plans that support them?

      1. Wreck It Ralph says:

        umm flip phones still use data plans. they just aren’t the “computers that smart phones are

  19. Martha says:

    GOOD FOR YOU. I wish my grandchildren would do this.

  20. LeftIsn'tRight says:

    “Oh, honey, mommy is so proud of you. You deserve not just a participation award, but a special new non-participation award. Now, I guess you could have just uninstalled the apps that were making you need to go to your safe place, but, mommy is still so proud.”

  21. Rtr says:

    Some of my students here in Tokyo are doing the same thing, ditching the iPhone for a flip phone or even no phone at all. Bravo!

  22. This reads like an Onion article.

  23. derek says:

    you are a very smart lady. i still have my flip phone and love the peace. you did the right thing!

  24. George Smith says:

    Used for intelligent / business purposes, a smart phone is a tool I won’t give up. It’s an advantage to use email on the go, navigate to new locations, look up addresses and phone numbers on the go, etc. The key is to use it intelligently, not for foolish nonsense like twitter, facebook, snapchat, instagram, etc. I refuse to use any of that junk.

  25. Art says:

    Social media is overrated and overvalued. It was only a matter of time before new generation started a backlash. Much respect.

  26. barry says:

    turn off the ringer you idiot. you don’t have to respond to every text/post/twit.

    1. hostile! And you dont need to respond to every article. Idiot

  27. rob barrett says:

    Detaching from electronics and social media not only improves your life, it also can save you a lot of money. Here are the top 9 reasons to go back to a flip phone. http://cookingfordads.blogspot.com/2016/05/why-i-downgraded-to-flip-phone-digital.html

  28. It’s not about her being smart. It’s about her being a 16 year old! The things a smart phone can do can come in handy at times. If only she could get rid of social media (facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat, etc), don’t allow notifications from apps when they ask, nor if they want to remember your location, etc. If she were able to do all that and limit herself to a set group of friends for limited texting and life with a smartphone can be manageable. But then again, like I said, it’s about her being 16 years old.

  29. Hallmark says:

    All that smart phone really does for your child is provide access to your home for someone you would never let in if they were standing by the front door.

  30. Everyone should do this.. I’m 50, I’ve had cells since the beige banana Motorola to the grey smaller one to the Motorola Star Trek flip phone to what I got now, a Samsung m75 slider phone.. only for… get this now, PHONE CALLS..

    Texting will soon be looked upon as ‘wtf were we thinking’… today on Facebook I posted a story and list of all the people who have died taking selfies..a lot.. one just backed over a cliff yesterday, and this has been a couple years of these.. I always said Smart Phones make smart people stupid and stupid people dead… And they’re money pits..

    As she said, when you’re having Christmas or whatever, and everyone’s checking their messages and phones and what not.. it’s time to ditch them

    Here’s the last reason, they’re nothing but voluntary tracking devices for the government to later use against you or keep tabs on your movements.. WE have no idea what this crooked government is using this data for. They can no longer be trusted. TOO MUCH TECH is like too much anything..

    1. George Smith says:

      You proudly talk of only using a smartphone for calls (to your own disadvantage you will find unless possibly you are retired), but yet waste your time on “fakebook”. I find that very ironic. I have a FB account for only one reason, so that I can gain access to certain sites. I never use it for the social networking garbage that others do. I don’t care what people I know are having for lunch, I don’t care what stories they are making up / bragging about today to make their lives seem better than others, and I feel no need to make up stories to brag about either. “Fakebook” is about people portraying their life as better than it really is, in a never-ending attempt to impress others who are doing the exact same thing, while everyone “over-shares” every detail of their lives, real or fake. It’s a disgusting statement about what most people are today. Twitter is even worse, an absolute sewer full of trolls and vapid, pathetic people. Things like snapchat are worse yet, allowing kids to act out in the most horrid ways while hiding everything from parents who aren’t aware of the evil that lurks within that app.

  31. Scott says:

    the story isn’t the phone. The story is how much better she feels not on social media. I had a razor flip phone that i loved. i finally upgraded to iphone couple years ago and love it as well. I don’t use social media so I do not get the distractions, but I do get the benefits of the other features not available on flip phone. Just get off or severely limit social media and you will enjoy life more regardless of your phone.

  32. RC says:

    This is almost a non-story, yet inspiring, so better than 99% of the trash news articles CBS usually uses. No detectable lies either. Good job

  33. My 2009 Capt.Kirk does everything i need as a glorified pager and pda..i’ll probably be buried with it !

  34. Anon says:


  35. Sol says:

    She seems smarter than an average teenager. Friends are ofttimes an ill-afforded luxury whereas paying attention to your own life and learning by what’s happening around you are essential. And, there’s no data plan on a flip phone – $AVING$!

  36. George says:

    16! By the time she’s 17, she’ll be able to spell correctly, carry a conversation in person, appreciate the world around her, have vastly improved situational awareness, and be a LOT more interesting as a person. Makes me wish I was younger…this one’s going to be a genuine keeper catch. Who knows? Maybe she’ll be trending by Thanksgiving…you know, that turkey day off from school thingy/

  37. Richard Kerrwinkle says:

    Oakily doakily — she’s a rocket scientist. Is this really newsworthy? I congratulate her, but really, on drudge? I expect “Hillary eats 14 babies” or “Trump marries his daughter”. Or “Kasich becomes a soy bean farmer.”

    1. George says:

      Except this one’s true…this one and the other one about Algore being a tobacco magnate.

  38. Cindy says:

    I’m so impressed with this young woman. I’ve been thinking of doing the same thing. I

  39. alan says:

    Good for this smart girl! She’s on her way to seeing and realizing that there’s a real world out there – when she goes to college, she probably won’t need a ‘safe space’ like so many of the crybabies inhabiting our colleges nowadays.
    I haven’t suffered any ill effects from not having a ‘smart’ phone …… my flip phone has worked well for me over the years – it’s just a leash in case the wife wants to get ahold of me or vice-versa. I’m too technologically-challenged …. my tablet sits on the desk because I can’t even get it to go on the internet half the time!

  40. A. C. says:

    My “dumb” flip phone can receive and send text messages, but sending is tedious. If I get a text I need to respond to quickly, I’ll call that person. It also is a lot cheaper to replace when I accidentally forget it in my pants pocket and it drowns in the washing machine. Finally, it presents a lot fewer back doors for hackers.

  41. Suzette says:

    I have a flip phone and have no interest in getting a smart phone. When people see my phone they usually say “Oh I wish I had kept mine. They’re so much easier !” For email, I use my home computer. My flp pone is for phone calls and texts and the occasional picture. It fits in my pocket. What more do I need ?

  42. Alvin Palmer says:

    My carrier offered a “smart phone” when the battery failed in my flip phone. I kept it for 6 days and returned it because of the very reasons this young lady provided. I took it back for another flip phone.

  43. Alphonsus Jr. says:

    Only bad parents allow their children to have “smart” phones.

    1. Gehazi says:

      But if I don’t get my child a smart phone she might be mad at me! And she won’t be popular! And our pretentious, vacuous neighbors won’t know that we’re as rich as they are. Noooooo!

  44. Rodney Wade says:

    Very smart woman…

    1. George Smith says:

      Kid you mean…wait until she’s an adult in a few years….she will have her phone on her every minute like every other young adult. She’s just realizing that kids have no real need for anything more than a basic means of contact.

  45. Bravo to this gal! Hopes it catches on! My parents have disallowed cell phones for us as kids until we were done high school. It encourages this wonderful newfangled technology called “in-person communication.” It’s not like teens need any more help having awkward conversation with adults and each other…

  46. Kate says:

    Can anyone please tell me why anyone still in high school, or younger, needs an iPhone or Android?

    1. Alphonsus Jr. says:

      Good question. As the insanity of lives of continual distraction, frivolity, and time-wasting becomes ever clearer, it also becomes ever clearer that only bad parents allow their children to have “smart” phones. Good parents, however, want their children to be really in the present moment, to be attentive to their surroundings and the people in it, and not to become socially retarded “smart” phone zombies with continually glazed eyes and hunched shoulders.

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