When I was in year six at school/10 years old, my classmates started getting mobile phones. I remember begging and begging and begging my parents for one, to no avail. I remember eagerly waiting for my dad to buy a new mobile, in the hopes I would receive his old one when he did. Eventually, my parents agreed I could have my very own mobile for Christmas when I was in year 7.
Even though I was so, so, so desperate to receive a phone and was so, so, so delighted when I did - I still very clearly remember my now-stepmum texting me an eager Merry Christmas! Enjoy your phone! - I never, ever imagined that my mobile phone would eventually play the part it does in my life now.
Although by the time I'd joined the mobile world, phones could access the internet, I certainly didn't do that and neither did anybody else I knew. In fact, I remember one of my favourite books when I was aged 11/12 was called something like "GirlNet" and it was all about how teenage girls could get the most out of the internet. In this book, it mentioned phones could access the internet but it just wasn't worth it and instead went on to explain how to join AOL on your desktop!!
Fast forward to now and I am surgically attached to my phone, my smartphone. Even as I write this blog post, it is by my side and I occasionally stop typing to use it - not to take calls, or even read text messages - no, I check Whatsapp, an internet messaging service, I check my Twitter notifications which have started going crazy since I attached my two work accounts to my phone, I glance at emails, ignore Facebook event invites.
My day begins and ends with my phone. I trawl through social media as soon as I wake up, and it's the last thing I do before I go to sleep. When I'm at work, I reward myself for finishing articles by, you guessed it, having a little play about on my phone.
The idea of my phone running out of charge, the idea of me leaving it at home, any scenario where I am left with it...it absolutely horrifies me.
I most definitely could do with cutting down the amount of time I spend on my phone. I know it's not healthy to be so surgically attached to it. And yet, I don't think the rise of smartphones is an inherently bad thing...
I love that I am never more than a few clicks away from talking to my loved ones. I love having my calendars, my to do lists, a tiny portable notebook on me at all times. I like having a portable music device. There are plenty of good things about smartphones.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's about balance. By all means utilise your smartphones, it should improve your life. But don't let yourself become a slave to it!