Car­rie Bick­more ad­mits to be­ing in de­nial over her smart­phone ad­dic­tion.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents -

You know those peo­ple who can’t be more than 10 me­tres from their phone? They get anx­ious when they mis­place it, al­ways check­ing for it, even pulling it out dur­ing din­ner to flick through Face­book when you are try­ing ing to have a con­ver­sa­tion. It’s re­ally an­noy­ing. noy­ing. Can’t you just put it away for a sec­ond?! econd?! I of­ten ac­cuse my boyfriend, Chris, ris, of be­ing one of th­ese peo­ple. ople. Stop look­ing at your phone while le I’m try­ing to tell you about my in­ter­est­ing day. It’s a reg­u­lar source urce of frus­tra­tion at home. me. His re­sponse is al­ways ways the same: “You’re the one who is al­ways on your phone! You’re ad­dicted dicted to your phone!”

“I am not,” I re­spond. “I have great self-con­trol when en it comes to my phone.” I don’t on’t need to check it when en a text ar­rives (I do); I can an go for a walk with the kids and leave the phone one at home (I don’t, though); ugh); and I def­i­nitely don’t n’t check In­sta­gram in the mid­dle of a con­ver­sa­tion nver­sa­tion (“(“Sorry, Sorry, what at did you say? I just st no­ticed for­mer Bach­e­loret­tech­e­lorette Sam Frost st posted a hi­lar­i­ous video eo of her dog… look k at him!”). The other night, I set­tled in for movie night with my son and he protested, “No sec­ond screen­ing, Mum.” I nearly fell out of the bed. How does he know the term “sec­ond screen­ing”, and why is he telling me? I never do that… do I? Am I th that per­son? I AM that per­son. Oh god. Those peo­ple are the worst. So I sat there and watched Pa­per Planes for the fourth time and re­sisted the urge to check my phone. It was hard. Hard like… not eati eat­ing the en­tire jar of Nutella on my lap. I think I have lost the abilit abil­ity to do noth­ing. I used to love bei be­ing on flights when no-one could con­tact me, but now I get ag­i­tated ag­i­tated. On a re­cent kid-free ge getaway with Chris, we were in th the most pic­turesque place, and aft af­ter five min­utes of sit­ting around the camp­fire, I pulled out my p phone and started scrolling. It’s a h habit. A bad habit, and I need to bre break it. Our dig­i­tal ad­dic­tion is m mak­ing us all anx­ious. If we don’t re re­ply to an email within 10 minute min­utes of re­ceiv­ing it, we feel tense. I If we don’t get an email back wi within 10 min­utes of send­ing it, we w won­der what the other per­son is do­ing and why it’s not a pri­ori pri­or­ity. It’s also mak­ing us r rude. You’d never just turn a away from some­one in the mid­dle of a con­ver­sa­tion and walk off, or hang up midw mid­way through a call. Yet, fo for some rea­son, we tol­er­ate this be­hav­iour when it in­volves our de­vices. It’s not cool.

I think it’s also get­ting in the way of im­por­tant think­ing time. Time to con­tem­plate im­por­tant life de­ci­sions. It’s al­most like our phones are sav­ing us from be­ing alone with our thoughts.

The av­er­age Aussie spends 46 hours a week glued to their screens. And so much of our time is spent telling our kids to get off their phones and tablets. We are hyp­ocrites. Well, I am any­way.

So Chris and I have in­tro­duced some phone rules into our re­la­tion­ship. I know, sexy right? It used to an­noy him that I would jump on my phone within a minute of wak­ing up in the morn­ing, so now we don’t check any de­vice for the first half hour of the day. It used to bug me when he’d an­swer texts through din­ner, so now we leave our phones in our bags when we go out, and our con­ver­sa­tions have been so much bet­ter for it.

Yes, de­vices are our re­al­ity now. We are de­pen­dent on them. But we also need to no­tice that fact and not lose touch with the joy of the real world. Car­rie co-hosts The Project, 6.30pm week­nights, on Net­work Ten.

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