Can digital detox fix us? Digital minimization promises peace of mind, so it might not hurt to try
I was in college when I owed my last dumb phone.
Back then, texting was the only thing both my device and I were good at.
Now my life is full of notifications, apps, apps that manage other apps, flight checkers, meditation programs, budgeting tools, movies, maps, music and my friends’ wedding albums. All of which reside in my phone.
I’ve grown used to different buzzes, I am fluent in emoji and panic about my battery span. I zigzag, scroll, zoom or react on my phone while I’m with other people. My lunch breaks are a constant struggle to connect with my friends online, while actively ignoring my colleagues. I’m watching a movie, squeezing in quality time with my partner, but I’m still touching my phone. It’s pathetic. Does this happen to you too?
☎️ Can digital detox fix us?
Digital minimization promises peace of mind, so it might not hurt to try.
First step: ditching your smartphone for a dumb phone.
If you want balance back in your life, think 2003. Flip phones, basic phones used for communication (so weird, right?), dad-size buttons. You might want a break from smartphones at first, and then go all the way, you might try it out as an experiment, or a willpower challenge.
🤸♀️ The unexpectedly good things that come from switching to a dumb phone:
- Time & money – they all add up when turning to the latest flagship smartphones that roll out every year
- A basic phone is ridiculously affordable, not to mention the phone plan needed for such a device. For example, at Tello you can have 500 min & unlimited texts for just $7/mo.
- A dumb phone will help you better manage your schedule and keep work & leasure separate
- The switch will never hurt your social life or the ability to do your job – If you’ve gotten used to doing a lot of things on your phone, it will probably be more of an adjustment. It might help to make a list of things you use your phone for currently, and look into using non-phone substitutes before you make the switch.
The cool factor
- It’s nice to go out for drinks and know that you can’t possibly check the work email, no matter how worried you might be about something that happened
- Your parents might be a little concerned about your decision and you’ll get some “are you going through a phase?” questions, while most of your friends will think that is cool – they’ll have no problem accepting that they can only reach you via sms and phone calls.
Increased battery & privacy
- Life changing! Simplicity comes with great perks.
📲 How to activate a dumb phone?
If you think a dumb phone is a smart idea, and regardless of you have an old one laying around or want to get a new one, here’s how to activate a basic phone on Tello.
A lot of our customers have embraced T9 texting devices and did not feel vulnerable in a completely digital world. Some even found their long lost inner navigational skills and sense of direction.
If you’re on a quest for more autonomy and nostalgically went back to using a dumb phone, we got you covered. You can bring it over to Tello, by following these steps:
- enter your ESN or IMEI or MEID here
- choose whether to port a number or get a new one assigned
- create an account, including name/address/email/another phone number
- when you enter your address it automatically checks coverage
- select or tailor your plan
- enter your payment information
- boom, you’re a Tello customer :D
🏓 Activation of a non-smartphone device:
There are two actions you may need to perform in order to activate your phone:
🍿 Carrier wipe
- Enable data
- Open the dialer
- Dial ##MSL# (copy the MSL from your Tello online account). Alternatively if your phone is from Virgin and does not respond to this, then try ##VIRGIN#.
- Press Edit
- Enter your 10 digit phone number, without 1
*NOTE even if the 10 digit phone number is already listed, you should still delete it and re-enter it
- Press “OK”
- Clear all the zeroes and enter the MSID number (copy the MSID from your Tello online account)
*NOTE If more digits are necessary or it is not recognized use 00000xxxxxxxxxx
- Press “OK”
- Press “Done”, the phone will reboot (if it does not reboot, do so manually).
🍿 Profile & PRL update
- You can update your profile and PRL in two different ways, based on your phone model. Pick one of the following two options:
- Option 1:
- Menu > Settings/Tools > Settings > Others > Data > Update Data Profile
- Once you’ve selected “Update Profile,” all you need to do is wait until the update completes
- After that do PRL update: Menu > Tools > Update Phone > Update PRL.
- Option 2:
- Press the “Application” icon
- Press “Settings”
- Press “System updates” (on some devices the System updates option might be in another Settings menu such as “Other” or “About phone”)
- Press “Update Profile”
- Wait for the Profile update to complete, then touch “OK”
- Press “Update PRL”
If your device does not restart after the PRL update, restart it. Once your device restarts, all services should be enabled.
How to port your number to Tello
Can you provide a link to purchase a dumb phone that would be compatible? I’m having trouble finding one.
Thanks for reaching out.
Any phone from us is a perfect match – shocking, right? :D. You can see our selection of phones here: https://tello.com/phones.
If you get another one, from a different retailer, make sure it’s Sprint compatible, unlocked and CDMA. You can always check its IMEI here – https://tello.com/bring_your_own_phone – to see if it’s compatible.
Hope this helps, thanks!
I can’t figure how to do profile/PRL update (EITHER OPTION) above. I did carrier wipe as instructed.
Customer service will not offer anything more (actually less) than what’s here.
I have old V.mobile flip which was found compatible. Please help.
Hmm, this seems like a problem for our Customer Support Team, so please give them a ring and provide the details so they can best help you, thanks!
I very much want a dumb phone for privacy reasons. Before having Tello, I had a dumb phone with a slide out QWERTY keyboard. I have never seen Tello offer one of these phones for sale. Can anyone offer suggestions for a Tello compatible dumb phone model with a slide out QWERTY keyboard? I don’t have the patience for using the number keypad for texting on other flip phones.
Probably need to archive this blog post as it’s CDMA-specific. For GSM just need to install the SIM card for basic voice and SMS. For MMS you need to find the APN URL settings for the device and enter the correct APN data URL (it’s on the Tello support site).
Biggest issue with trying to stay with a feature phone is most are limited to 3G, at least the non-Android phones. Perhaps this will change if more people demand quality feature phones that work with 4G/5G networks. By the way, phones like the CoolSnap are actually run a custom Android ROM. Kyocera has some models that still run BREW MP but most newer models are also Android-based. There are lots of reasons to have privacy concerns with an Android-based phone and it would really be nice to have more than 2 mobile OS options in the post 2G/3G world.