We’re slowly wising up to the negative effect social media has on our lives.
Like all major cultural issues, it’s likely that these negative consequences don’t affect everyone the same.
The Light Phone is banking on you giving up the cell phone once in awhile for a break from it all. This is a hardwired device that is simply a phone. No apps. Just a few numbers saved and it can only accept incoming or create outgoing calls.
Kudos to the marketing team. The problem is I’m not sure how likely this will be.
It’s like hearing about how the CEO who has no smartphone. Well, of course, he doesn’t have to be on demand! But the employee not checking their email…
I’ve been off Facebook since 2012, and I’ve chosen not to own a car. But I did so trading for better technology, Uber, not for more limited choices.
Most everyone opts out of technology, we just don’t think about it that way. We do it all of the time. In fact, our identities are being formed more by what we choose to opt out of than what we choose to opt into. We might not identify as “Netflix viewers” opting out of cable. “Vinyl addicts” opting out of streaming.
And Vegans are a sub-group because they all choose to opt out of the same thing. And some people that bike to work opt out of the car. Others who think their deodorant might cause them cancer skip it.
So the Light Phone believes that people will use this as an indicator that they’ve opted out.
The iPhone is the status signal of the 2000’s.
The Light phone is the status symbol for those who opt out and want to show it.
So it’s hardware is an option for the consumer to intentionally limit themselves and their consumption and time.
But as far as enough of a push to identify around…
The thing is, there’s no “statement” behind a short-term opt out.
I’m not saying that our current levels of technology solve our insatiable need for connection. Or that we don’t benefit from a disconnect. It’s just that the sheer force of the cultural interest being MORE connected, as connected as possible, makes this tough to swallow.
And, with the rise of Siri, Alexa and the Apple Watch, we may be on the way to removing our faces from the screen.
But it’s never been about the screen, it’s been about the possibilities that we have in front of us. Phones are tools of self-expression and communication. And all of the tech layered on top has been created to further this ability by giving us more tools at our disposal to create, and to connect.
Which reminds me, now that we’re giving up the phone, we’re giving up the camera, and the music service… which makes it even tougher.
Removing distraction, sure.
Removing possibilities, much harder to opt-into.
What we want is the Apple Watch that we’re really waiting for.
To not be fully tethered to the screen, but to not be disconnected either.
We want to connect.
And most of all, we want more possibilities.