If the first thing you did when you woke up today was check your mobile phone then you are not alone.
Those small shiny devices have replaced flashy watches, expensive handbags and, in some very extreme cases, cars as the single most important possessions for many of us. Meeting someone who admits to not owning a mobile is nowadays almost as rare as discovering rocking horse dung in one’s back garden.
A whopping 93 per cent of the adult population of this country own a mobile phone and I dare say that many of those would admit to not being able to live without one. I count myself to be among that shameful army of 21st century losers.
At the risk of sounding like my 94-year-old grandfather, a proud member of the seven per cent of Brits who would not know whether to answer an Apple or turn it into chutney, what did we do before mobiles and smartphones?
Back in the late 1980s when Michael Barrymore was still famous mobile phones were considered to be as daft as wearing shoes without socks or sticking ice in your cider. Back then if we wanted to meet someone we rang them at home or at work to arrange a time and a place.
We did not have the luxury of texting a family member to discover whether more milk was needed, we would have used our judgment or, heaven forbid, put our coat back on and go out again if we made the wrong call. But we survived and looking back it was by no means the Dark Ages.
So why do I and millions of others develop a cold sweat when we can’t immediately lay our hands on these precious devices? The following conversation is common in our house as I sure it is in yours: “Love, have you seen my phone?” [SIGH] “Have you tried ringing it?”, “No, because I had to put it on silent because you moaned about it buzzing and flashing constantly.”
I hold my hands up, I am a phone addict but my argument is that it provides me with the most up to date news.Yes I do occasionally sneak a furtive glance at my Samsung whilst being addressed on the important news of the day by Mrs Tapp or, to my eternal shame, our five-year-old, but I am the product of an era. A generation where results were expected five minutes ago and technology is an extension of the individual. A study conducted by Harvard Business School found workers who checked smartphones during meetings were considered to be rude by colleagues. I have been on both sides of that argument.
The smartphone is the most tool that many of us need to survive the daily rigours of such a relentlessly demanding environment. To moan about the mobile phone use of others is akin to complaining about how loud a family member breathes. It is a sad fact of modern day life so we all had better get used to it.