So a couple of us were on our way home from band practise last night and my mate says to me: “I’m not saying this to be a dick because you’ve been staring at your phone for the past 10 minutes, but do you think you could live without your phone for a day?”
Initially I thought it was a fairly interesting question – “Have we become too reliant on our phones?” – but then I thought about it for 10 seconds and realised he was an idiot.
Admittedly I use my phone a lot, easily more so than the average person, and that’s largely due to the ridiculous multitude of things it can do. I’m guilty of spending a heck of a lot of time faffing, but there are legitimate worky reasons too.
We Mobo-staff primarily use Skype IM to stay in touch. It’s ideal if Emma fancies throwing additional work my way when I’m finished for the day and lying around playing Xbox in my pants (bah), or – more seriously – if something urgent comes up.
It’s a similar story with email. Yes, there’s a lot of personal nonsense in there, but there are tons of work emails too. It’s not uncommon for my HTC Desire HD to signal its new email tone dozens of times in one day.
So there, I need my phone for work when I’m away from my laptop. What else do I do?
Oh, my To Do List widget is invaluable too. I’ve got inane personal stuff in there like “buy milk” and “dentist Thursday”, but it’s also handy for work stuff, like feature ideas, or apps people have recommended. What’s the non-phone alternative? Carrying around a scrap of paper or a freakin’ diary? Pfft.
There are loads more reasons to justify having my phone glued to my hand. Let’s say I’m watching something on TV and I have one of those classic ‘What else was that guy in?’ moments. IMDB app to the rescue.
Similarly, I’ve found myself using the Shazam app quite a lot during the closing credits of The Sopranos. Recent hits include the excellent “World Destruction” by Timezone feat. John Lydon & Afrika Bambaataa, and “Kid A” by Radiohead. How the hell else would I know that, having never heard those tracks before? God bless you, Shazam.
Text messages? Meh, I could live without them for a day, but why? That’s like saying: “Do you think you could survive the whole weekend without your car?” Aye, I’m quite sure you could, but it’d be a bit of a pain in the bum.
Ok, now that we’ve got all the semi-essential stuff out of the way, I have to admit I’ve been caught in a terrible Facebook trap. Bad times.
Facebook recently announced that it’d stop sending (as many) notifications for private messages and what not. I now get this many email notifications from Facebook: one per week with friends’ birthdays.
As such, I have to manually check for new messages by opening the app periodically. Ditto for other notifications. Y’know, you’ve commented on someone’s status and they’ve commented back or whatever.
Presumably the logic is – at least in part – that Facebook will get more hits per day. Maybe there’s an option to crank up the notifications, but I haven’t had time to look into that yet. Maybe I’ll add it to my To Do List. Where's my phone?