FOX5’s LIKE IT OR NOT – New ‘dumb phone’ can only make calls and send texts!

Britt McHenry
Bram Weinstein
Nick Smith
Marina Marraco

Britt McHenry, Bram Weinstein, Marina Marraco and I discus the new ‘dumb phone’.

The Light Phone 2 is a gorgeous, minimalist “dumb phone” that can do only a handful of things.

The phone doesn’t have any apps. Instead, it can make calls, send texts, handle simple directions, and set alarms. Light, the company behind the phone, wants to make a device that is used as little as possible to get people off their smartphones.

This is an installment of Business Insider’s “Your Brain on Apps” series that investigates how addictive apps can influence behavior.

The Brooklyn-based startup Light has set an impossible goal of getting people to put down their smartphones.

Light launched in 2014 and a year later debuted its first product, the Light Phone. It could only make calls and tell the time, and the company described it as a “quite a smart ‘dumb’ phone.”

Light intended for it to be something of a companion to your smartphone and a way to get people to leave their phones at home and go enjoy life.

Now, Light is back with its second product, the Light Phone 2, an upgraded version of its phone that might just replace your smartphone for good.

The second-generation device couldn’t be coming at a better time. There’s increased scrutiny on how too much screen time affects our brains, and a movement among even the most tech-savvy parents to limit their kids’ access to smartphones.

Meanwhile, apps that discourage too much smartphone use are gaining steam, and people are becoming wise to the tactics their favorite apps use to lure them in and keep them hooked.

This is why Light’s new device is intentionally limited. The Light Phone 2 is designed to manage some of the tasks that keep us connected — calling, messaging, and getting directions — while eliminating time-wasters like social media and games.

Recent data from the analytics company Flurry found that people in the US use their mobile devices for five hours a day, while a study from the tech-support firm Asurion found that Americans check their phones 80 times a day on average.

Much of that time is spent in apps. Several of the most popular smartphone apps — like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat — have been designed to use psychological tricks to grab your attention.

At this point, even Silicon Valley parents — some of the same ones responsible for building these addictive apps and devices — are raising their kids to be tech-free.