I've always been intrigued to see what the screentime of Love Island contestants is like. While for some of us, racking up several hours' worth each day has sort of become the norm, the Love Island lot are about to spend the next few weeks trapped in a villa with nothing to do except chat about their feelings. Which would make anyone reach for their phone, especially when things get awkward around the fire pit. So are Love Island contestants allowed to use their phones on the show?
As a fan of the show, a phrase you're likely familiar with is the cry of "I've got a text!" But it's usually not from their mums or a flame back at home. According to Heat, a Samsung phone is what the contestants use to announce each of the challenges from, but surely they don't get access to social media from it, right?
From what previous contestants have said, that seems to be the case. But the Love Island bosses prohibit a lot more than Instagram. "You're completely cut off", Liana Van Riel, a contestant from the show's second series previously revealed to The Sun.
"They give you these basic little phones where you can text each other but nobody really uses them, they're only really there for the whole 'I've got a text' aspect," the former contestant added. Throughout the series, you'll also find the contestants occasionally pausing to snap a selfie. According to The Sun, the islanders are encouraged to do this, so that they can "catch moments the camera normally wouldn't."
Harley Judge a contestant on Love Island 2017 revealed to Heat after he was the first to leave the villa that contestants are able to talk to each other by message. "'We have an island chat where we can talk amongst the islanders and then Love Island can contact you so any big event in the villa you receive by text." They also use their phones to flirt, of course, with Harley admitting that he'd used his phone to send a wink emoji across to his first match Amber Davies. I really wouldn't mind being a digital fly on the wall for any of these group chats.
I reckon that all of this — only receiving texts from your fellow islanders, and maybe even from Caroline Flack, if you're lucky — is a way to make the experience more insular. But that doesn't just start when the islanders enter the villa. As it turns out, the contestants are put in a state of isolation for a little while.
"As soon as we got to the airport, [a minder] took my phone off me. I remember I put a passcode on it so they couldn’t get into it," Malin Andersson, who appeared on series two of Love Island relayed to i News. So, don't try to send your favourite contestant a saucy DM while they're in the villa. They won't get back to you for a while.
Love Island continues 9 p.m. weekdays on ITV 2.