The Light Phone

Online editor Jeannette Jonker has a love-hate relationship with her smartphone. Particularly when she’s out, she’d much rather be without it. That’s why she signed up for The Light Phone.

It is of course crazy to think you need a second phone so that you look at the smartphone you already have less. Yet I think that The Light Phone will make my life more pleasant. Because, having such a device means that I’ll be able to hit the streets again stress-free. I’ll be able to take a walk undisturbed and look around my surroundings without wasting my time on messages that can wait. I am really looking forward to it.

At the moment, all the notifications on my phone are switched off because I find the incessant stream of incoming messages disturbing—and all those sounds and vibrations leave me feeling agitated. However, this, in turn, leaves me with the sense that I’m missing important things, which is why I keep checking to see if I have any messages. With The Light Phone, that isn’t possible, because you can only make and receive calls. According to its creators, ‘It’s a casual, secondary phone that encourages you to leave behind your smartphone and enjoy quality time doing the things you love the most, free of distraction. We call this going light.’

Now I do not necessarily want to buy another phone—The Light Phone is designed as an extension to your smartphone as the calls are transferred from one device to another—but I think the idea is interesting and pretty brilliant. The first batch has already sold out and there is a waiting list for the next version. Apparently, there’s huge demand for a nice-looking phone that you can only call with. Deep down however, I find it rather sad that we do not have the ability ourselves to resist the temptations of a smartphone anymore.

It’s a weakness I’m also guilty of and am completely done with the fact that I can always look everything up, receive messages, automatically record or link data, and that Siri gets involved in everything. Why don’t I just get rid of my smartphone? Well, I really do want to, but I seem to be stuck in an idiotic trap that I cannot get out of anymore. Because it’s almost inconceivable to envision living my life without all those handy apps. How would I do my banking or listen to podcasts? Of course, I could leave the house every now and then without my smartphone. I used to do that back in the day, and things were always okay. But yes, I do feel the pressure of being reachable for friends, family, colleagues and my children.

Then why not just have an old-fashioned cell phone? That’s also another consideration and it’s not such a bad option either. But I like digital developments, even though I don’t want them to take over my life or make decisions for me. In short: The Light Phone seems, to me, the perfect solution to dealing with my smartphone and screen time more consciously. So that I can focus on things that I want to pay attention to, instead of being ruled by a stupid—so-called—smart device. I no longer want to be staring at a screen instead of enjoying the things around me. Or always having earphones in and missing out on the birdsong. So, I am now on the waiting list, and until the day my Light Phone arrives, I will speak words of encouragement to myself and resist the incessant flow of information and messages that can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

  • The Light Phone costs US$150 and is available in white or black (currently not available outside the US).
  • The Light Phone 2.0 is currently being developed, with extra functions. You can find out more here.