It’s never out of my sight. Even when I sleep, my iPhone is beside me, so that the moment I open my eyes I can check my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. My personal and work emails have different sounds on my phone so I know which one to check with every beep, ping and ring. My husband has three phones, and social media in English and Italian. My tweenage son has his own YouTube channel and vlogs every moment of the day – even making videos of himself playing XBox Live so that he can upload every victory for his subscribers around the globe to watch in real time. Our six-yearold daughter constantly takes selfies on our phones and begs us to upload them so that she can ‘collect’ as many ‘likes’ as possible. Welcome to the Pasquali household, which is as plugged in as every other family in the UAE.
Here we have the highest penetration on Facebook and we’re also among the top viewers of YouTube, but does that mean we should be checking our social media feed 14 times a day? Maybe it’s time for a digital detox – something writer Lucy Holden tried for a weekend with surprising results. She had withdrawal symptoms when she had to hand over her smartphone, but learnt to enjoy time away from the constant status updates. Read what happened on page 36 and let me know how long you can go without checking your phone! Until next week,