Well, I recently read an article about being addicted to our phones. Yes, my name is 40 Shades of Mum and I am addicted to my phone.
According to a recent survey, 37% of adults and 60% of teenagers are addicted to their phones. For me it is not just my smartphone but anything that can connect to the internet. Right now I can honestly say I could not live without it. Defending this statement I will say it is all down to the work that I do. Working from home I need that link to be able to run our business. My main connection is emails, but even HMRC require us as an employer to send communication through their website, using logins and paperless filing. So for work purposes I can also say it is essential.
Now if I am honest I am also addicted for so many other reasons. I hold my hands up there is no way of wriggling my way out of it. I would be lost without my phone.
I saw a graph recently that put people in different categories as to their feelings if they lost their phone. 73% would feel panicked, 14% desperate, 7% sick and 6% relieved. I am in the 73% panicked category. Has it happened yet? No, as it is permanently attached to me. I am not the best sleeper and so I am known to browse through the News Apps, Facebook, Twitter at night and I have now mastered the art of EBAY bids in the wee small hours. I awake to my phone alarm which means it is in my hand before I fully open my eyes. Emails are checked and junk ones deleted before I step foot out of bed. I also have albums of pictures of the kids on there too, although I am good at backing these up as I have seen what happens when people have lost phones and photos that cannot be replaced. Which would be too sad a thought for me. My daughter just yesterday Facetime’d me from upstairs to ask me a question. This is the height of laziness, but also a sign of things to come.
Teenagers and technology also go hand in hand at the moment. This I am researching a bit more for my own benefit and that of my three children. As a parent I also have the responsibility of knowing what they are using and why. I am lucky that my girls do talk to me about things and so at the moment our relationship is good and if anything arose from their use of social media they would and do tell me. I do, however, have this inner need to know more and be ready for, if this ever changes. Maybe I can start a blog on this once I have the knowledge and my understanding has increased to a level I can share.
I have gone away on breaks to find there is no Wi-Fi and for the first few days I struggle, but as that inner panic of not being connected leaves me there is a feeling of relief. To be able to enjoy my surroundings without the sound of an email or a text message or to see the kids enjoy each other’s company again is wonderful. We can and are fully able to revert back to times pre-smartphone and tablet, but there is definitely a withdrawal for some. Our family certainly shows signs of it.
Technology has dramatically changed in the last 10 years. Not just phones but PCs, laptops, tablets and Bluetooth speakers, many of which the average house owns. Most things we can connect through our Wi-Fi and it is advancing so much that they have now brought out a plug that can be controlled by your smartphone so that the iron or hair straighteners can never be left on again. Note to self, must get one of those.
Most of my friends know how I like my Techie gadgets and he always gets me something of this standing for me to get my brain around for birthdays or Christmas (although I’m still hoping for that IKettle). Only yesterday Apple released the new Apple Watch. Do I fancy one? I sure do. For me it is like being a kid in a sweet shop.
*Louise Smith is in her 40th year of life and currently runs an ever growing construction company along with her husband. She has three children and a busy life with challenges along the way. Living in East Lothian and with a little bit of humour, she juggles working life with being a mum and wife.