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Welcome to Gabb

Tuesday, 13 August, 2019

Stephen Dalby

I’m Stephen Dalby, and as the founder of Gabb Wireless, I want to welcome you. Not to our website or even to our company, but rather to the movement Gabb is quickly becoming to protect kids from the dangers inherent in smartphones.

To be clear, I’m not anti-tech, but I do believe that giving kids too much technology, too soon, is too dangerous.

Because of that belief, my team and I created Gabb—the world’s first mobile phone network dedicated to protecting children. Our phones are designed to provide safety for kids and peace of mind for parents by removing the browser, app store, games and social media. 

That may sound radical at first, but we simply know things about mobile technology now that we didn’t know 10 or 20 years ago. For example, no one foresaw the negative effect that screen time would have on our kids’ social and cognitive skills. And no one could have predicted the loneliness and isolation that would result from being connected to thousands of people on social media—and the stress, anxiety and depression that follow.

Nor did we understand how addictive screens are—let how alone how addictive and destructive some online content is. And we didn’t know that screen addiction actually changes our brain chemistry and has a very real, very negative effect on behavior.

I think we’ve been irresponsible as a society by putting computers powerful enough to land a man on the moon into the hands of children who don’t have the maturity necessary to use good judgment and discipline.

I think we do our kids a disservice when we enable them to lose their childhood to screen time. What happened to playing outside for hours, to building forts and treehouses, and to impromptu games of capture the flag? We’re losing a generation of kids to computers, and the obesity epidemic is evidence of that.

And from a practical perspective, I think it’s lunacy to spend $500 or $1,000 on a phone for a 12-year-old and to replace that device every couple of years. How did that ever become normal?

As the father of a large family and as someone who has spent much of his career working with youth, I started Gabb to provide families with a better option for introducing technology to their kids. Every idea we conceive and every plan we make is measured by asking the question that defines our mission: “Will this help and protect children?”

I know firsthand how important that is. When I began Gabb, it seemed like I was on my phone all the time.

Luckily, I had a wake-up call when my 6-year-old son asked, “Daddy, can we play a game — or is your phone too important?” 

That question hit me like a freight train. Because I loved spending time with my kids, I thought I was on top of my “dad” game. And because my wife was supportive, I assumed I was being a good husband — but we were both actually missing our nightly walks. 

Today, I ask them to tell me if I’m overusing my phone. I slip up sometimes, but I’m committed to being the best parent I can be.

Instilling healthy phone habits are not just my mission. From coast to coast, thousands of people are joining our movement to protect kids by providing them with age-appropriate technology.

I hope you will join us, too.