Decades

Our relationship to technology has changed a lot over time.

Storytelling doesn't have to follow a linear timeline. But here's a walk through the history of the mobile phone in chronological order.

Photo: NBC/NBCUniversal via Getty Images Illustration: TTWW

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Return of the dumbphone

Luddite teens hold their vintage flip phones in a circle.

The "dumbphone" or feature phone is a simpler form of mobile phone, and it's becoming popular again. A return to early 2000s technology, unlike smartphones, dumbphones...

Indigenous rights to wireless frequencies

Spectrum sovereignty advocate Darrah Blackwater works to install broadband equipment for Native communities during the pandemic.

"Spectrum sovereignty" advocates for Indigenous peoples' rights to control wireless communication frequencies on their lands. Governments traditionally sell rights to...

Doomscrolling

Animated gif of cartoon hands scrolling through a cellphone on fire.

"Doomscrolling" refers to the behavior of continuously scrolling through negative, distressing, or alarming news, even though the content may amplify feelings of fear,...

Cobalt mining and conflict in the Congo

An artisanal miner holds a cobalt stone at the Shabara artisanal mine in the DRC.

The exploitation of cobalt for mobile phone batteries in the Congo has been associated with conflict and human rights abuses, highlighting the ethical concerns in the mobile...

“We noticed protest posters: 'You will drink lithium, you will eat copper.'”

– Ligaya, Atacama Desert, Chile

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  • Becky Russell
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  • Chelsey Petty-Dale
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  • Cody Brooks
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  • Willow Idlewild
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  • Eli Pariser
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  • Emily Best
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  • Jasmine Sun
  • *
  • Jim Remsik
  • *
  • Coraline Ada Ehmke
  • *
  • Kris Boustedt
  • *
  • Laura Kalbag
  • *
  • Reuben Johnson
  • *
  • Sara M. Watson
  • *
  • SaVance Ford
  • *
  • Natalya Dell
  • *
  • Sherri Johnson
  • *
  • Xiaowei Wang
  • *
  • Becky Russell
  • *
  • Chelsey Petty-Dale
  • *
  • Cody Brooks
  • *
  • Willow Idlewild
  • *
  • Eli Pariser
  • *
  • Emily Best
  • *
  • Jasmine Sun
  • *
  • Jim Remsik
  • *
  • Coraline Ada Ehmke
  • *
  • Kris Boustedt
  • *
  • Laura Kalbag
  • *
  • Reuben Johnson
  • *
  • Sara M. Watson
  • *
  • SaVance Ford
  • *
  • Natalya Dell
  • *
  • Sherri Johnson
  • *
  • Xiaowei Wang
  • *
  • Becky Russell
  • *
  • Chelsey Petty-Dale
  • *
  • Cody Brooks
  • *
  • Willow Idlewild
  • *
  • Eli Pariser
  • *
  • Emily Best
  • *
  • Jasmine Sun
  • *
  • Jim Remsik
  • *
  • Coraline Ada Ehmke
  • *
  • Kris Boustedt
  • *
  • Laura Kalbag
  • *
  • Reuben Johnson
  • *
  • Sara M. Watson
  • *
  • SaVance Ford
  • *
  • Natalya Dell
  • *
  • Sherri Johnson
  • *
  • Xiaowei Wang
  • *