Startup Creates New “Dumb” Phone to Curb Smartphone Addiction

Light, a Brooklyn-based startup, has launched the second version of their minimalist cellphones designed to only manage tasks such as calling, messaging, setting alarms and getting directions. According to the company, their e-ink “smart ‘dumb’ phone,” the Light Phone 2 is designed to be used “as little as possible” and serve as an accompaniment to your smartphone or potentially wean you off it for good.

The simple 4G device comes at a time of growing criticism over smartphone addiction, particularly amongst teenagers. A December 2017 Harris Poll found that nine in ten parents with a minor agree that growing technology use is affecting teenagers adversely. The survey also revealed that 80 percent of adults agree that social networks are creating an identity crisis in young adults.

The Light Phone 2 intentionally eliminates social media and games; and its creators have no intention of adding those functions including advertising, email or news features to their phones in the future.