In a time when we’re more plugged-in than ever before—a trend that’s been exacerbated by COVID—one company is going against the status quo by advocating a digital detox, at least for the younger generation. Gabb Wireless, founded by Stephen Dalby, is taking an unconventional approach to the cell phone—it’s simplifying it. In a market where most consumers wait for the newest, and naturally more feature-heavy, iPhone release with the anticipation of a child on Christmas morning, it may seem that a minimal approach to our favorite gadget would be met with disdain…yet surprisingly, the opposite is true.
The Gabb Phone is geared at children in the 8-16 range, and is marketed as the ideal starter phone. Since the key reason behind someone so young having a phone is to communicate with their parents and guardians, the phone is fairly bare-boned with just 12 essential apps, which include: phone calls, messaging, contacts, camera, video, gallery, calendar, calculator, clock, voice recorder, FM radio, and file manager. Yet, when you pause to think about it, what else would a child really need? Dalby explains that the app-count is meant to ensure kids do not waste their time absorbed in scrolling on social media, playing mindless games, or searching the internet for inappropriate content that’s otherwise readily available. As a result, kids who use the Gabb Phone are exposed to less social media, and thus lower their chances of participating or being the targets of cyber-bullying—a major issue for today’s youth.
Additionally, Gabb users become more productive in school and in theri extracurricular activities, since the hours of smartphone-scrolling are freed up to read, play, have in-person communication, develop new skills, commit to athletics, and discover their passions. One of Gabb’s ambassadors is Kelana Humphrey, a 12-year-old nationally ranked motocross racer whose blossoming career is the perfect example of what can be achieved when one’s eyes are not glued to a screen. “This may sound surprising, but the reason why kids like our phone is because they don’t spend a lot of time on it—kids are happier when they are out playing with friends, developing talents, and connecting with humans, not sitting alone in a locked room swiping a screen,” explains Dalby.
Although the phone is geared at kids, we could all take note from the Gabb Wireless philosophy. It seems their approach to self-optimization and happiness is much less convoluted than the over-saturated self-help market that offers over-consumption as a cure for a lack of productivity. Dalby puts it best: “the great thief of opportunity today is distraction.” The solution is simple, and Gabb Wireless is leading the way into a less plugged-in future that will benefit us all, especially the future of our world—our children.
To stay current with Gabb Wireless’ innovations, visit https://gabbwireless.com/.