The return of recording artist Adele after a long four-year hiatus was expected to result in much interest and excitement on social media. It's not the singer's new single or upcoming album that's causing a stir, however, among fans, it's the flip phone she uses in the just released video for her latest single, ironically titled, "Hello".
As we recently reported, the single is now available to purchase on iTunes and to stream on Apple Music, and the video is available for viewing on YouTube. That video, filmed in haunting sepia tones to accompany the signature heartbreaking Adele ballad, has caused a social media frenzy, with fans asking the burning question: Why in the world is Adele using a flip phone in the video?
The flip phone is apparently now viewed by many as a relic from the not-so-distant past, even though it is still in use by millions, and manufactured by many of the same companies that also release the top-selling smartphones. Despite the unfortunate stigma attached to using a flip phone in 2015, celebrities such as Rihanna, Anna Wintour and Kate Beckinsale have all been photographed recently using one. Some users prefer the flip phone due to its light weight and smaller size when compared to a smartphone, while others prefer the more comfortable angle which the clamshell design allows when holding the phone to one's ear and mouth.
None of the above reasons are why Adele is using the device in her video, however, and it appears she doesn't actually use a flip phone in real life, but was given the handset by video director Xavier Dolan. Dolan explains that he used the device in order to invoke a timelessness that modern devices might betray.
The social media reaction to the use of the flip phone in Adele's video "drives me crazy," he explains. "I could see the GIFs on Twitter. I'm like, 'guys, get over it. It doesn't matter.' But the real explanation is that I never like filming modern phones or cars. They're so implanted in our lives that when you see them in movies you're reminded you're in reality. If you see an iPhone or a Toyota in a movie, they're anti-narrative, they take you out of the story. If I put an iPhone or a modern car in a movie it feels like I'm making a commercial."
The irony however, is that the placement of the phone actually takes viewers out of the moment of the song and video, by causing users to wonder why in the world Adele would be using such a thing. Now, thanks to the flip phone, much of the focus on her latest release is not on the artist, the music, or the video, but on the device. Welcome to the technology age.