How to tell if you have turned into a mobile phone zombie

Country Living with Francis Farragher

It’s bad enough reading somewhere that mobile phones are turning children and teenagers into zombies but the concern can become a tad more personal when it could apply to a man of more mature years, who once would have been ashamed to admit to ownership of these devices.

I don’t profess to know much about AI, artificial intelligence, maybe on the basis that I’m not smart enough to understand what it’s all about, but it is mildly disturbing when mild palpitations are felt when the arrival at work coincides with the realisation that the phone has been left at home.

There was a time in the great world of newsrooms – not today or yesterday – when one landline phone would be shared between two desks, before one fine morning a benign manager made the announcement that each typewriter table would have its own handset.

There’s now a difficulty in recalling the last time that I made a call from the landline with the mobile now being the almost exclusive mode of communication with the outside world. Mind you, they are wonderful little machines, giving you a point of contact or information with the rest of the world in a matter of seconds.

I’ve also tried to figure out how many times that I’ve picked up the phone to perform some work related or equally practical enquiry only to find myself being lured away by a BBC, RTE or Independent notification about a plane crash, flood disaster or a missile strike on some Ukrainian suburb.

The only problem is that by the time I’ve ready my way through the story, the initial purpose of opening up the phone has disappeared completely from my mind. For older sods like myself, there’s always too the temptation to browse through sites like RIP without much of a purpose in mind, other than the rather selfish satisfaction that you have outlived one of your peers.

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