Have you ever texted or felt like texting during a conversation with another person and later couldn’t remember what they had said? Do you ever feel anxious if you’re offline for any length of time? And do you allow your ringing phone to interrupt everything even important meetings or dates?
If you haven’t answered "yes" to any of the above, I’m sure you know someone for whom this gadget-fuelled restlessness is an everyday occurrence.
Last weekend, that became me after spending a couple of days volunteering in the country without coverage.
There was no internet, no apps, no iTunes, no texts, no phone call or emails.
I couldn’t handle it. During mealtime and while speaking with people I hadn’t met before, I felt the urge to pull out and check my phone.
There were also moments of feeling lost without the vibrating sound alerting me to a new message or call and I kept checking my phone with the hope that coverage would return.
It didn’t torture me for long though as the peace and quiet of the countryside soon became enjoyable while rediscovering the art of conversation.
However, it did instill an awareness of what I have been missing over the last year.
A couple of minutes is the longest I’ve managed to concentrate without checking my emails. There are times I read emails while talking, talk while texting, text while dining, dine while checking email and sometimes I text and surf the web like it’s a matter of life and death.
Anyone who is also is also checking their smartphone is now will recognise the symptoms.
So how can I and fellow sufferers take control of this out-of-control condition? Or with so many apps, emails, texts and calls now seeking us, is it an out-of control condition at all? Let us know your thoughts.