With millions of Brits heading off on holiday this month, many will reach their idyllic beach retreat or beautiful city break – perhaps their only chance to unwind this year – and stare at their smartphones.
According to Ofcom’s latest figures, 78% of UK adults own a smartphone with the average user checking it once every 12 minutes during their waking hours. For holidaymakers, the smartphone can be a useful tool to plan activities, post holiday snaps on Instagram, and read up on breaking news at home.
However, the negative effects of excessive smartphone use are increasingly acknowledged, and to truly step back from the distractions of a smartphone on holiday, London City Airport is offering passengers respite from digital consumption by giving them a free Light Phone.
The Light Phone, created by the New York-based Light Company and launched in January 2017, has a simple interface with an intentional lack of features to help users regain their precious time and minimise digital distraction. The product only enables phone calls to be made and received, with the option to save just nine phone numbers on speed dial. Its manufacturers say the Light Phone is “designed to be used as little as possible” and the product has already proved extremely popular in USA, with limited stocks regularly selling out.
Liam McKay, Director of Corporate Affairs at London City Airport, said: “As the summer getaway continues, the Light Phone will help London City Airport’s ever-increasing leisure travellers reduce digital distraction and reclaim those quality moments with family and friends on holiday. After all, a summer break is about detaching from everyday life and work.”
“I know from personal experience that it’s not always possible to avoid screen time when on downtime, as my wife will attest. This is an opportunity for some of our passengers, including those who typically use the airport for business travel, to try a digital detox.”