Brands help young people mitigate their tech time

Society is now realizing the negative effects of technology on the human mind—from phone addiction to sleep deprivation—which is sparking a veritable digital wellness movement. In service of this idea, the following companies have created new initiatives and devices to help modern youth curb their digital habits and gain back control of their time.


To help Android owners rely on their phones less, Google hired London-based design studio Special Projects to create Paper Phone, an app that allows users to select and print important information stored on their devices to make a foldable “paper” phone. From calendar events and the weather to games and recipes, Paper Phone contains only the information users need, which will hopefully help them focus on the present and avoid distraction. With the knowledge that people have become dependent on their devices, Google hopes that this surprisingly simple experiment will promote digital wellness among users and help curb device addiction.


Canadian artisanal confectionary Ace Bakery believes that meals should be a time to focus on the people around us and not on our devices. To help people avoid the temptation of compulsive phone checking, Ace tapped Toronto-based agency Mosaic to create a modern take on the breadbox called Breadblox—a bamboo and glass polymer box in which people can store their phones during mealtimes. Adopting the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, Breadblox hides up to seven phones, blocks phone signals, and comes with a bamboo cutting board as an added bonus. The box, which retails for $39.95 online, sold out of its first batch of 50. Ace Bakery is already planning a second run.


Modern youths’ sleeping habits are being disrupted by their digital behaviors. To combat this, health and wellness company Seraphin launched a platform to help users detox from their devices at night: Bedside Book, which limits access to one’s device after hours and comes with features that encourage users to unplug and get a good night’s rest. Bedside Book encases one’s device to help remove temptation and tracks the number of times users do reach for it. The tech also helps users drift off to sleep through calming music and light routines and wakes them with gentle sounds, music, or a podcast, along with a different waking light routine.