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Light Phone II removes social apps to reduce anxiety

The Light Phone II removes all social media apps to give users a minimal, stripped back experience that reduces user anxiety and encourages time away from your screen.

If you’re sick of endlessly scrolling through social media feeds, you may want to check out the ‘Light Phone II’, a minimalist smartphone developed by two ex-Google employees that’s designed to alleviate anxiety and reduce your phone usage.

You won’t be getting fancy specs or a huge screen – this is no iPhone. Instead, you’ll have access to a few basic features including calling people, streaming music, setting alarms, and changing the phone’s settings.

The screen has a matte finish that looks a little like an Amazon Kindle, minimising eye strain and keeping the experience as non-invasive as possible.

The intention is to keep you off your phone for as extended periods of time and to avoid that all-too familiar habit of mindless algorithmic consumption.

Various tech reviewers have given the product a thorough testing and if it sounds like your kind of thing, prices start from around $300 USD – which could be considered a little steep since it lacks most features of a regular smartphone.

Who created the Light Phone II?

This new phone was developed by Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang, who met during their time as part of an experimental program at Google.

Mental health and overall wellbeing were at the forefront of this phone’s design, with the slogan ‘less phone more life’ being used in various promotional material to encourage users to spend less time meandering on social media apps.

Some outlets such as Hypebae have noted that it’s ideal if you want a ‘digital detox’, and a way to still be contactable without falling into patterns of behaviour that can spike anxiety or angst.

While smart phones and apps help us to communicate, accomplish tasks, and improve our overall quality of life in many circumstances, too much stimulation can be detrimental to the brain – at least according to some studies.

Regular devices implement notification noises, pop ups, and flashes to indicate when you’ve received messages or if someone is trying to contact you.

This is useful, of course, but can also be very distracting and cause oddities like phantom vibration syndrome. Often, we can end up relying on our phone for everyday function and to simply feel at ease, which may be a concern for some smartphone users.

The Light Phone II is an answer to growing demand for less invasive and intrusive technology. It is currently a little pricey for many regular consumers, but it’s likely this type of device will become more widespread soon.

We may well see more of these types of products pop up in the coming years. Perhaps we’ll all revert back to the late noughties’ days of flip phones and Blackberries with mini keyboards before too long – could Motorola finally make a comeback?

Only time will tell. For now, you may way to check out the Light Phone II if you fancy yourself an early adopter of the minimalist smartphone.


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