Mobiles are killing art of conversation

We're obsessed with our phones
We're obsessed with our phones
People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend

ZELLA COMPTON: How much? For four pasties! You must be kidding

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Have you ever left your mobile phone at home and felt uneasy all day until it was back in your hand? I’ve done it a few times.

It’s becoming clearer we are now a nation addicted to technology, particularly our mobile phones.

Recently I was shopping in Portsmouth and nearly had my shoulder yanked from my body simply because someone wasn’t looking where they were walking but looking down at their phone.

I was also having lunch in a restaurant recently and glanced across to a nearby table where a young couple, instead of being deep in conversation were both tapping away in silence on their phones.

Today, if we have to wait for any reason, such as in a queue or in the dentist’s waiting room, we are now programmed to whip out our phones to help pass the time.

Next time you walk or drive past a bus stop take a look at what the people are doing. They won’t be looking in the direction of the oncoming traffic, instead they’ll be looking at their mobiles. I wonder how many times someone has missed their bus because they were too busy engrossed in their phones.

The thing is, I know full well that I am guilty of checking my phone more than I should and if I was waiting for that bus I’d probably be scrolling down my Twitter timeline or checking my e-mail to pass the time until I glanced up and saw my bus approaching. Then once I’d paid my fare and found a spare seat on that bus, I’d probably get my phone back out of my pocket and continue what I was doing until I reached my destination.

My daughters are four and six so obviously do not have their own mobile.

But I do occasionally allow them to play games on our iPad for a limited time. This is something they also do at school.

But right now they don’t know what social media like Facebook and Twitter is and I hope it’s a few years before they do.

But it is inevitable that at some point they will find out and they will, like their friends, want a smartphone.

In our house there are already rules when it comes to the iPad to limit the time they spend on it. But I think it is important I lead by example.

So I now try to press that button on my phone that doesn’t often get used.

I’m talking about the ‘off’ button.