Opinion Analysis

Saturday 25 November 2017

Lorraine Courtney: Status update: will txt you l8r – I'm checking email in the cafe, as I tweet

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, calling it a 'fashion statement', in Germany this week
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, calling it a 'fashion statement', in Germany this week

Lorraine Courtney

I'm a very recent convert and still get over-excited at how liberating it is to check email walking around, to get PMS advance warnings and breaking news stories on the DART. I avoided the iPhone for so long because I didn't like the idea of being "always on". It turns out I was right. I feel like a failure if my phone doesn't ping every few minutes. I'm addicted to data flow. Who would have thought, a decade ago, that a plastic and glass box smaller than the palm of your hand would consume our lives so completely?

Now Apple has announced September 10 as the launch date of its new iPhone 5s and the rumours are that it will come in lots of girlie colours like a powder pink and pastel blue. Samsung has unveiled its Galaxy Gear smartwatch that it's calling a "fashion statement". Smartphone users are growing all the time. In 2011 there were 17.6 million. That's a 107pc increase since 2009, meaning that 45pc of users now access the web from a mobile device. And it seems to have spawned a generation of us that can't bear to be out of touch, electronically at least.

Usually this digital rudeness takes place while someone else is talking: your boss, boyfriend or flatmate. Younger iPhone users have completely mastered the art of texting one person while talking to another. You need only travel on public transport to see dazzling demonstrations of this trick. Of course the devices themselves compel you into OCD rituals from nightly charging to weekly syncing. And because the battery life isn't sufficient for a full day's use, regular pit stop charges become a feature of every day.

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