The NoPhone started as a jokey social commentary. The site advertised a black rectangular of piece of plastic that fits snuggly in your hand and acts as a “technology-free alternative to constant hand-to-phone contact”–a way to stay in touch with the real world by lulling your brain beyond its device separation anxiety.
“Never again experience the unsettling feeling of flesh on flesh when closing your hand,” it said.
People even started emailing them asking if they could buy one. So the friends went for it–they set up a Kickstarter campaign and a nicer website, and started selling the NoPhone for $12 a pop, or $18 for one with a “selfie upgrade” (i.e. a mirrored sticker on the back).
Now the team reports that more than 2,000 NoPhones have been sold and will be delivered in time for the holidays. Their Kickstarter project alone raised $18,316, enough money to buy 61 iPhone 6 devices in the Apple Store.
It’s true our technology addiction is real and in many situations, it’s becoming both a social and safety hazard. But if it’s gotten so bad that we’re willing to pay money to ship a black piece of plastic hundreds or thousands of miles, just so we can be in on the joke, then we’ve all truly gone off the deep end into the absurd.