We live in the Era of the Smart Phone, and that’s a fact. We’re willing to bet you’re reading this article on your phone right now, in fact! We can probably all agree that this particular technology is a double-edged sword, a necessary evil— Staying connected is good! Becoming addicted to our screens is not! — but when it comes to our kids, most of us are a little less forgiving. Enter Gabb Wireless, the no-internet, no-social media, no-app-store phone that all parents should consider for their tweens and teens.
Gabb Wireless launched in September after a successful Indiegogo campaign that raised more than $100,000.
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The Gabb phone was created with one thing in mind: to keep kids safe. Young kids spend as many as nine hours on their phones per day, and with most popular models, they have access to the internet, social media, and games, all of which can present a danger to young people.
Gabb Wireless founder, Stephen Dalby, says he went to buy his 12-year-old son a phone so that he could stay connected but was shocked to learn that his options were not only limited but also incredibly expensive. Instead of settling, Dalby forged his own path.
“We decided to create an entire cellular network that would be dedicated to safe devices for kids,” he says. “The first Gabb phone is very simple. It’s a touchscreen phone, it’s a sub-$100 device. It’s not expensive. But most importantly, it’s safe.”
The Gabb phone only allows users to talk, text, and take (but not send or receive) photos. There is no internet browser, no access to social media, no games, and no app store.
Dalby’s hope for Gabb Wireless is that families will be better able to stay connected while simultaneously cutting down on screen time and potential dangers presented by the internet (such as predators).
The first Gabb phone retails for $99.99. (For comparison, the cheapest unused iPhone you can buy now is the iPhone 8 for $450.) The basic monthly plan, which offers unlimited talk and text, costs $19.99 a month. It is recommended for kids ages 8 – 14.
According to their website, Gabb Wireless plans to launch a Gabb+ plan later. This plan, which will be $22.99 per month, will allow users to group text and send and receive photo messages, but it will still not have an internet browser, social media access, games, or an app store. Gabb recommends the Gabb+ play for kids ages 8 – 16.
Matt is a writer, editor, and content strategist currently based in Washington state. He has worked as a managing editor for the iconic I Can Has Cheezburger, Celebuzz (a SpinMedia site), and now Mamas Uncut. He also acted as the Social Media Director for CafeMom.
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