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Put the phone DOWN

“You are, you’re always on your phone. You look at it as soon as you wake up and last thing before you go to bed. You watch TV with it in your hand. We can be right in the middle of talking and then there’s that alert sound and you go straight to it. You even unplug my phone before it’s charged up so you can charge up yours, which is really annoying. You’re definitely addicted!”

That was my son lecturing me the other day.

Obviously, he’s completely wrong. Obviously, I use my phone for all sorts of essential tasks.

Phone calls, email, messages, Facetime.

Looking things up. Answering his questions. Seeing what the weather’s going to be like. Finding out what a song is on the radio. Checking the wave height on Watergate Bay.

Getting places on the train, bus, taxi and car. Parking when I get there.

Taking photos. Filming videos.

Waking us all up in the morning.

Banking (I don’t, actually, I prefer my computer).

Using the torch to check the meter reading.

Tuning my guitar.

Seeing if something’s sold on Ebay.

Checking the time. And the date.

Making a note of an idea.

Getting a voucher in Pizza Express.


When he told me off, though, I think I was just on LinkedIn. I do love LinkedIn. Every day I find something interesting to read there.

Plus it’s a great ego ramp. Sorry, mental-availability-maintaining content-marketing tool.

Or maybe I was on the BBC site, seeing if anything important had happened in the world in the last hour.

Or maybe it was YouTube and I was watching…something.

It wouldn’t have been Facebook, I don’t do Facebook. Or Instagram. But it might have been Twitter.

Definitely wasn’t a game. My phone has loads on it from when the children were younger and we, extremely occasionally, used phones like a tech dummy. But I don’t play. Temple Run was as far as I ever got. I wouldn’t make it to the ground on Fortnite.

Anyway, I can’t be addicted because I don’t have an addictive personality. I didn’t have a glass of wine last night.

Unless I do, of course. Unless we all have one, hidden away down there in the murky depths.

And that’s what phones have done so brilliantly. Like the Sentinels in the Matrix, they’ve searched it out.

So now we’re all hooked. We look to our phones to fill every tiny little gap that opens up in our day. Boredom is no longer tolerated.

So maybe, just maybe, my son is right. It’s not children who have the problem with technology, it’s their parents.

We never saw it coming. But they have.

Nah, what does he know? He’s only eleven.

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