September 8, 2022
If you have followed me at all on Instagram in the past year, you may know that in December of 2021 I gave up my iPhone for a light phone. This little phone’s simplicity was extremely appealing to me. It has no web browser, no social media, no email… Knowing I spend way too much time on my smart phone each and every day I was intrigued by the idea of “going light”. My son was about to turn two and I was convicted by how much time I spent staring at my screen, trading precious time that could be focused on him.
I spent nine months with the light phone, but to my surprise, this was not the solution that would cure my screentime overuse. Although it did keep me from staring at my phone for most the day, I had an iPad that just seemed to take its place. In addition, it has some cons that I wasn’t aware of. You can read more about those below. If you’d rather skip that and find out my solution, just scroll on past the cons list and you will find it!
One of the biggest drawbacks of having a light phone, is the inability to take pictures. When on an outing with friends or family, I would always have to ask them if I could borrow their phone to take a picture and then have them send it to me. I grew tired of having to inconvenience others, just to get a picture I wanted. My only other option was to carry around my DSLR, which is too big and bulky and awkward to bring with me on a casual outing.
In addition to not being able to take pictures myself, if a picture was sent to me, I would have to check my email on my desktop or iPad to view it.
Obviously, with no camera, there is also no video. My solution to this was to purchase a GO PRO Hero 10. I actually love that little camera. It takes amazing video, even after returning to an iPhone, I still plan on using this as much as I can for home videos. But for on the go, when you just want to carry one item, the light phone does not provide.
If you have a toddler, you know that grocery pickup is your best friend. However, with the light phone, this was a little inconvenient. In addition to my phone, I also had to make sure the iPad came along with us on grocery outings. When we would arrive at the pickup spot, I would have to turn on the light phone’s hotspot, connect my iPad to it, and then let the store know I had arrived. Meh, not fun to go through all those steps every time, especially if I had to take the iPad away from my toddler who didn’t want to stop watching Finding Nemo.
The Light Phone does have the ability to give you directions. However, it would sometimes lose internet connection and you would have to read the step-by-step instructions. I’d rather have something more reliable that doesn’t lose connection. In addition to this flaw, if you needed someone to send you a pin to help you find a very specific location that might not necessarily have an exact address, you could just forget about that.
The Light Phone is always coming out with improvements, so maybe by the time you are reading this they will have added a timer option. However, during the time I had it there was no timer. I use a timer multiple times a day and not having one on my phone was annoying.
Texting on a light phone is not fun. First of all, it is hard to type on the tiny screen. If you are texting a message of any length, you are not able to see the entirety of your message without scrolling up and down. There is no auto correct. If someone sends you a message while you are in the middle of typing yours, then too bad. You either have to go ahead, type up your message and send it or exit out and start over so that you can see the latest message sent to you. So irritating!
After giving the Light Phone nine months, I decided I was ready to go back to an iPhone. The inconveniences of “going light” outweighed the advantages in my opinion. However, I knew I had to implement some type of restriction to keep myself accountable from spending too much time on both my iPad and iPhone. Thankfully, someone at church told me about how they made their iPhone “light” by using the Screen Time App Limit. To sum it up, you can set a certain time limit for one specific app, or you can set a time limit for multiple apps collectively.
The best way I found to set this up was to set a time limit for multiple apps collectively, the ones I tend to waste too much time on. But there is a trick to this. If you go over your time limit, you can easily hit the “Ignore Time Limit” button unless you have the “Block at End of Limit” toggle turned on. If you have this turned on then once you have hit the limit on your app usage for the day, you can only continue using the app if you type in a screen time pass code.
This is the other caveat. If you know your screen time passcode, then you can easily type it in and give way to your screen time addiction. This is where another person comes into play. Choose someone you trust that you see every day, who can set the screen time passcode for you. If you allow someone else to set your screen time passcode, they can hold you accountable and you can avoid the temptation of screen time overuse.