Addicted To Your Phone? Here's The Solution
With all the pearl-clutching about modern technology ruining the human ability to empathize, it was only a matter of time before someone set out to make the anti-smartphone. As of this week, two men have stepped up to the plate with the Light Phone, a device that — get this
— does exactly what a phone was designed to do. The catch? It only does what a phone was designed to do. The Light Phone's only function is making and answering calls; there are no apps, browsers, or even texting. The fanciest this phone gets is the ability to double as a flashlight. On the bright side, its minimalist function means that the charge can last for 20 days, which is about 20 days longer than my phone battery has ever lasted.If you're thinking that this sounds so archaic you'd never use it, that's exactly the reaction the creators are going for. Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang are advertising the Light Phone as your "phone away from phone," and they designed it to be used as little as possible, Tech Crunch reports. Created during Google's 30 Weeks incubator, they intend for the credit card-sized phone to be a "way for people to find balance with their connectedness," Hollier told Tech Crunch. Best of all, the phone is so simple that there's no need for newer models, so there won't be any need to upgrade. Basically, it's Tom Haverford's worst nightmare.
<img alt="" src="http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mc4dih8UIc1qb4mxmo1_r1_500.gif" class="article-body-image" title="Image: http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mc4dih8UIc1qb4mxmo1_r1_500.gif"/>Although it may seem like Hollier and Kaiwei designed the phone as a reaction against modern technology, the pair claims their intentions are the opposite. "It's not that we think people should never connect again, it's just that taking a break is extremely healthy in every sense of the word," Hollier said. He also pointed out that they joined Google's incubator in the first place, so they're obviously fans of technology.
"The project is really about a conversation we want to start," he continued. "Is where technology is going really the way we want in terms of living our day to day lives in the happiest sense?"
There's no denying that smartphone use is on the rise; according to the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone today. The same study found that seven percent of Americans rely on smartphones for their Internet access rather than having broadband at home. Research has also shown that banning smartphones improves students' test scores, and there is an increasing number of psychologists who believe that it's possible to get addicted to your phone.
<img alt="texting animated GIF " src="http://media.giphy.com/media/foIr4NCCX0dZm/giphy.gif" class="article-body-image" title="Image: http://media.giphy.com/media/foIr4NCCX0dZm/giphy.gif"/>
That being said, it's important to take this kind of research with a grain of salt. Although it's not as popular in the news, studies have also shown that phones can improve education, and Internet users have been shown to use problem-solving areas of their brain more often. However, for people who have a tough time separating themselves from their phones and want to limit their use, the Light Phone could be a godsend. It's also ideal for parents who might be worried about their children's access to the Internet on a smartphone — at only $100, it's also a much less pricey option for kids who could (and probably will) damage their phone at some point.
The Light Phone is currently set to roll out in May of 2016, according to their Kickstarter page. The project has already raised almost $120,000 with more than a month left until its deadline, so it looks like Hollier and Kaiwei aren't the only ones who think we could use a little time away from technology. In the meantime, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to google the symptoms of smartphone addiction.
Images: taylortownsend/Tumblr, Giphy