There are three people in my marriage. My husband, my phone and me. Plus the 310 million people on Twitter worldwide. Oh and then there’s 500 million on Instagram. But I simply have to know what is going on *innocentface*. This is what I tell myself as, late at night, having made a great show of leaving my phone downstairs, I tiptoe quietly past the ice cream, past the vodka, towards the little blue screen. ‘I am running a tech business. The world is collapsing. Hello my precious.’ We can justify any addiction.
And I am not alone in clutching my phone like a stiff G&T, like a life preserver. According to recent research by Intel Security, only 37% of women said they would leave their phone at home when they went on holiday, as opposed to a more sensible 47% of men. And even more shaming, 49% of 18-35 year olds are more willing than Midults to throw caution to the wind and skip off to Ibiza without their smartphones surgically attached to them. What????? They are supposed to be the hooked ones, the ones with the virtual lives and the screen addictions.
So it’s us, the Midults, who are well and truly cyber-compulsive. Clearly the pressures are such that we feel a constant need to be slightly not-present. Just lightly stoned on titbits and sound bites and other people’s hashtags. Yes we are engaged, yes we are relevant, yes we are killing it out there. But being permanently plugged-in leads to a kind of mental over-heating. Like when the fridge starts a death rattle and you know it’s the motor and you know it will probably explode soon but, rather than doing anything about the rattle, you just feel low-level depressed and change nothing.
By the way did you get your Midult newsletter this morning?