Frontier Communications Wants to Pay You $1000 to Swap Your Smartphone for a Flip Phone for a Week


Before mobile phones were tools for browsing the internet, making video calls, and transforming your face into emojis, they were primarily used for calling and texting. As WTHR reports, the internet and phone service provider Frontier Communications wants to send one person back to the dark ages by replacing their smartphone with a flip phone for a whole week—and if they successfully complete the challenge, they'll walk away with $1000.

The company is launching the "Flip Phone Challenge" to see how well a self-proclaimed smartphone addict can cope without their device. For a full seven days, they'll learn how to navigate life without the internet at their fingertips. They will have access to a basic flip phone for simpler communications, but when it comes to consuming media, taking notes, and looking up directions on the go, they'll need to get creative. To ease the transition, Frontier Communications will provide them with a "Boredom Buster Swag Bag." It comes with tools that were essential in the pre-smartphone era, like a physical map, a pocket phonebook, a notepad and pen, and CDs.

Frontier Communications will select just one person out of its applicant pool to take the challenge. The ideal candidate is in touch with the latest technology, is an avid social media user, and is willing to vlog about their experience. They must be 18 years or older and a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.

In addition to living their life with a flip phone for a week, the chosen candidate will be asked to record their progress, noting any changes in their productivity, sleep quality, and how long it takes them to correspond with someone. If they can do that while resisting the temptation of smartphone life, they'll receive $1000 from the company.

To apply for the challenge, complete the form here and explain in 200 words or less why you'd be the right person for the job. Including a video component is encouraged, but not required.

[h/t WTHR]

Stuck in a Never-Ending Group Chat? Here's How to Stop It

grinvalds/iStock via Getty Images
grinvalds/iStock via Getty Images

The more contacts on your phone, the more likely you will be periodically pulled into the dreaded group chat—a meandering, pestering chain of communication on apps like Facebook or WhatsApp that keeps your cell in a constant state of alert. While some group chats start out informative, they can quickly devolve in utter banality. (One warning sign: a funny nickname for the chat.) How can one free themselves from this chorus and get on with their lives?

David Nield at Gizmodo recently broke down the steps you can take to pull yourself free, though it depends on which chat app you’re using. If it’s WhatsApp, for example, you can go to Settings, Account, Privacy, Groups, and then set who can add you to a group chat. That way, only people in your inner circle can loop you in. If someone who isn't on your approved list adds you to a chat, you'll get a direct message inviting you to join, which you can accept or ignore. If you’re already in group chat hell, WhatsApp will allow you to mute notifications by tapping on the Menu button and selecting Mute Notifications.

Facebook Messenger doesn’t allow you to pre-emptively opt out, but you can exit existing group chats by tapping “i” inside the thread and selecting “Leave Group” in Android or tapping the chat thread and clicking “Leave Group” in iOS.

The same is true of Apple’s iMessenger—you can’t insulate yourself from chats. Once it starts, though, you can leave by tapping the top of the conversation, selecting “i,” and selecting either Hide Alerts (which mutes the chat) or Leave This Conversation. If people in the chat are using SMS, the messages will still come through, however. They have to be either muted or removed from your phone and life entirely.

For tips on how to deal with group chat pain on Twitter and other platforms, head over to Gizmodo.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Veterans Can Now Access Their Health Records Through Apple’s Health App

SeventyFour/iStock via Getty Images
SeventyFour/iStock via Getty Images

Apple’s iOS Health app is great for more than just checking how many steps you took during a lengthy walk in the park—it also stores health records from Johns Hopkins, Quest Diagnostics, Allscripts, and more than 400 other healthcare organizations.

Now, Fortune reports that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has joined that list, making it easier than ever for military veterans who receive healthcare through the Veterans Health Administration to access all of their health records, including medications, immunizations, lab results, and other information. In the press release, Apple explains that the app will automatically update the records, so all veterans need to do is log into their providers’s patient portals through the Health app for a “single, integrated snapshot of their health profile whenever they want, quickly, and privately.”

apple VA health app screenshot

Though the official announcement coincides nicely with Veterans Day on Monday, the change itself has been in the works for several months—the VA released the new feature to certain patients over the summer.

According to its website, the Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated healthcare system in the country, servicing more than 9 million patients across 1255 healthcare facilities. With such an expansive network, any successful attempt to streamline processes and improve the flow of information—especially when it comes to sensitive, personal data—has the potential to be a major game-changer for veterans.

apple VA health app screenshot

“Helping veterans gain a better understanding of their health is our chance to show our gratitude for their service,” Apple COO Jeff Williams said in the press release. “By working with the VA to offer Health Records on iPhone, we hope to help those who served have greater peace of mind that their healthcare is in good hands.”

Wondering what you can do to help veterans? Here are 11 honorable ideas.

[h/t Fortune]