TAMPA, Fla. — Everyday we are surrounded by technology, but there is a younger generation that is saying it's too much.

Some people are even considering turning in their smartphones for a flip phone.

There has been an increase in discussion in college classrooms.

What You Need To Know

  • Flip phones are making a comeback in the younger generations

  • The discussion is becoming popular in classrooms according to a USF associate professor

  • 26-year-old Max McHarris says he was tired of the notifications of a smartphone and social media, which is why he switched to a flip phone.

"I think a lot of Gen Z people are realizing they are living a lot of their lives on their phones. They are looking at things, they are constantly connected, they are always getting notifications. And I think not only Gen Z, but many of us are wanting a simpler life, a life that's more connected to the world," said Kelli Burns, associate professor of advertising and mass communications at the University of South Florida.

Not long ago, Max McHarris used technology in almost every aspect of his life.

"I studied computer science in college," the Tampa resident said.

His classwork could get repetitive.

"It was a lot of just being in front of a computer and I really missed that social component," he said.

So the 26-year-old made a big change after graduating from New York University.

"I really enjoy working with people and kids, especially I really like working with kids," he said.

McHarris became a kindergarten teacher instead of pursuing a career in computer science. Now, the only time he uses his computer is to complete his teaching certification.

"My life now is so different. I used to be so into technology when I was younger, and I mean, I still like it, but my life is less centered around it," he said.

He limited technology in his personal life too, trading in a smartphone for a flip phone.

"I think in terms of making that switch, it wasn't that scary to me because I had a lot of support," he said.

McHarris says one of the big reasons for that change is social media.

"It really kept me from connecting with life with others in my life, spending quality time with others. At its worst, it kept me from doing the things that are most important to me," he said.

He says taking a step back from technology has made a positive impact on his life allowing him to connect to the world in different ways. One of his favorites is taking trips to the park.

"It's a very nourishing experience to be in nature, especially living in the city. It's very grounding... it's very beautiful," he said.

He says these park visits help him stay in the present.

"I was addicted to using a smartphone.

"Choosing to take that step of physically distancing from it and replacing it with something else was essential for me," he said.

He says the change improved his quality of life.

"Just the fact I'm not getting pinged constantly, I feel like it lets my mind be more subtle during the day and less like I'm doing one thing.

“It helps me be more mindful and concentrated," he said.

It was a small adjustment in his life to live in the moment.