Are our phones f****ing us all up?


are phones bad for youIt’s been creeping over me slowly, silently….a kind of disgust with our relatively new obsession with phones. And before I go any further let me caveat this post and say that I myself am included in that.

A disgust and moreover, a startling concern that took its seed from an article I read in one of the Sunday supplements about the secret life of teenage girls and their obsessively unhealthy relationship with their phones and various social media platforms. The constant checking at inappropriate times, the constant checking for likes, and so on. This sounded worryingly like me.

Then there was the time that my own three year old daughter walked into the kitchen proclaiming “I’ve lost my phone!”, in a dreaded mini me style, she was mirroring the behaviour of me, her idiot mother, who is always losing her phone and reliving her own angst via some abomination of a Hello Kitty fake iphone she got with some magazine someone decided was a good idea to gift her. Good job. Let’s start them young yeah?

The next day, Mr C and I had a date night and sat next to a family of four – mother and father, and two children who were around 4-8 years in range. All of them preoccupied with their devices, or squabbling over their parent’s devices, and snapchatting.

And there was watching week at my daughter’s ballet, where in-between filming their daughter’s precious moments and performance on their phones, people were busy dithering on their phones, rather than actually watching their child practice what they had learnt for weeks.

I felt a bit sick.

What world are we sleep walking into, both ourselves, and our kids? What lessons are we teaching them? That our phones are more important than people, or our children?

Why are we so obsessed  myself included – with these devices which five years ago were only making their debut on this planet? Why can we simply not put them down for an extended period of time?

Why do we spend hours mindlessly scrolling through utter s**** and not really experiencing life as it goes on around us, or the people experiencing it with us, when we should be looking up at the sky, looking people in the eye, listening to the sounds around us, and being in the moment, and being present?

Why is it the moment I sit down with my little girl to watch her favourite Paw Patrol, I see this as my cue to catch up on inane social media, and essentially, therefore only being present in body but not in mind, meaning I might as well be out of the room I am so unconnected to her?

Why do one in three adults – and half of 18-24 year olds – check their phones in the middle of the night?

Why do we Brits check their phone 85 times a day? EIGHTY FIVE TIMES A DAY????! WTF!!!?

How did our willpower get so bad? I have not set myself a rule that I must not look at my phone for two hours after I get up, and an hour before bed, but why do I find it so hard to keep this? And to not look at my phone at all when I’m with daughter? I toyed with the idea locking my phone away in a drawer for the majority of the day when it wasn’t needed when I was with my family, but then what if there was some sort of emergency and someone needed to reach me?

And so the internal battle continues.

I don’t know what the answer is, but this much I know – I am not the only one caught up in a web of inexplicable allure of their life-numbing phones. I’ve seen all of you out there doing the same, just like me. But I DO know that something feels very wrong about all of this. And all I can ask again is….what are we sleep walking into here?

How do you feel about phones and our constant need to be attached to them? Do you have similar concerns? Please, help me figure this out in a comment below.

***Did this post resonate with you? Please do give it a share on Facebook, Tweet on Twitter, and like my Facebook page for more here, and in doing so…god help me, I am making you go back on your blasted phone!***


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  1. I’m am so bad for this, I get anxious if I don’t know where my phone is, or if there’s no signal!

  2. I often feel like I look at my phone too much, however it also has some really nice things about having a phone. I love that I can capture those moments so easily, record them, and picture them. I do HATE being that family who is all looking at their phones at the same time when you are somewhere!!

  3. Wow you know what? Your completely right, even when I watch programmes I am on social media on my phone and it is sickening. When did we forget to interact with the real world. On the other hand my phone has actually made me more confident as a person and interacted with people I would be too scared to approach in real life because I am more shy than people realize.

  4. I do feel like we can be on our phones too much. Yesterday I was answering emails whilst pushing my son on the swing when he said “put your phone away Mummy” – I felt really guilty so will make a real effort to put it away when we are out, unless I am taking a photo

  5. Unfortunately this is the world we nw live in. Society has transfixed our lives to the world wide web. But you have to learn when to put it down and step away ,myself included. Techinology is a dreadful thing, but I do love it lol!

  6. It’s an interesting concept isn’t it. We were never quite so attached to the landline but here we are, me included, constantly looking at our devices. It’s like we are waiting for something to happen and we can’t possibly miss it.

  7. I’m totally attached to my phone, I can’t lie about that! I do make a massive conscious effort to leave it out of reach when I’m spending time with the kids, playing with them, or generally engaging with them, but it’s a battle to get it right isn’t it?! I think our kids, whether we like it or not, are growing into a very tech heavy world where tech knowledge is going to be invaluable to them, so I try to encourage positive use of gadgets, but like most kids Amelia pretty much just wants to watch Paw Patrol! I’d like to think I’m pretty good at just putting the damn thing down, but I know I could do better.

  8. I’m guilty as charged too. My phone is almost like an appendage to me… I feel kind of insecure without it. I feel i have to be on top of my social media – constantly checking alerts – and it sucks. I know I use it a lot even when with my 3 yo… like you said present in body but not in mind and that is one area I am consciously making an effort reducing phone time in…

  9. Ugh, yes. I catch myself picking up my phone when playing with the baby and I make myself put it down to spend quality time with him. I do it mindlessly after I have picked it up to take pictures of him, and then I just forget to put it down until I realize what I’m doing. #coolmumclub

  10. I couldn’t agree more. I hate myself sometimes for using my phone when I could be playing with Josh but I’m not too bad. My husband is hopeless and I often tell him he’s missing the special moments in favour of his phone. It’s quite sad that our lives are so reliant on them now xx #coolmumclub

  11. This is definitely a concern for me, I know I check mine far too often, and my little girl already mimics me on the phone a lot so seems to think it’s a vital mummy accessory! We’ve just started a ‘no phone’ hour when we get in from work so will see how that goes! #CoolMumClub

  12. I have all the same concerns, am equally as guilty and also feel a little sick. Need to re-evaluate for sure. Popping the phone away today and living and connecting more xx

  13. YUP. Completely agree. I believe in the US we check our phone 150 times per day, either way it’s too fucking much! I’m scared for our children. I have on occasion let him play with my phone and he loooooves it, he could not get enough! #helpmeeeee #coolmumclub

  14. Brilliant post, I totally agree. I think we are becoming more and more dependant on having our phones with us at all times (I remember a time when the phone was plugged into the wall and I managed to survive ok!). Instant access to the internet is turning our brains to mush- no-one needs to remember anything anymore, we just ask google. Hopefully the next generation will rebel against it all!

  15. I’m not addicted! Much! I do make a real effort to put my phone away during the day and in the evening and only check it when I need too. And never when I’m walking

  16. I definitely check my phone way too often and half the time it is just mindlessly scrolling through social media rather than anything remotely productive. They are such addictive little things. I do try to consciously switch off and enjoy life in the real world too though – it’s not easy sometimes though. That little phone has too much pull on me sometimes! #coolmumclub

  17. It is definitely something that me and my husband have noticed and have addressed in that we are going to try and not use them so much! I think it is affecting our relationship too as we spend most evenings sat watching our programmes but separately on our phones!!! <3 #brilliantblogposts

  18. Have a love / hate relationship with my phone. It has helped me at low points feel connected and supported and other times I think too much about it. I am sure before phones it would of been all about tv X #coolmumclub

  19. God this is all true! I need to get a watch because I use my phone for the time so I check it even more often. I hate watches though but thats it I’m off to get one! I have checked my phone a lot less this week after I saw a series of photos where the photographer had removed the smart phone from the picture… ‘a cold and lonely world we live in’ or something like that. It was a real shock to see like that. If I can find it again I’ll send it to you.

  20. I feel exactly like this..I hate my phone but I love it way too much too! I wish I had more willpower and could put it away more, it kind of feels impossible to do that and grow a successful blog though. And like you said, what if there was an emergency? Sometimes I wish they had never been invented xx #coolmumclub

  21. I hear you Talya – I hear you loud and clear. I had the same moment watching the girls swimming once – it was hilarious that every one of the three dozen parents and siblings watching were glued to their phones, and not watching a single thing. There was one Grandad smiling watching the swimming, probably wondering what the hell has gone wrong with the generations beneath him!

    Obviously, I was also glued to my phone too. Probably reading #coolmumclub stuff. eek.

    It can’t go on like this – surely…

  22. I am so bad for this. I check my phonefar to often. So when we are out and about I purposefully pop it in my inside pocket which is a faff to get to once I’m all zipped in, I never use it at meal times, and whilst I will be using my phone whilst L watches a bit of TV I make to spend plenty of other time with him. #coolmumclub

  23. I check my phone far to often. If I go to the toilet without my phone, Cygnet will pick it up and bring it into me. I am not sure whether to be proud that I have trained him well as my little helper, or ashamed that he’s learned that I am glued to my phone. pen x #coolmumclub

  24. 85 times a day? Wow! I’m a sucker for checking my phone loads but I don’t do it over night though. I try to limit it too during the day but its addictive. If we go somewhere to watch something / event etc my phone gets left alone (apart from taking a pic or two). You end up missing so much of life being attached to the phone it’s sad really.

  25. I couldn’t agree more with this. I have to admit that this element is the one side of being a blogger that I really don’t like as, let’s face it, we need to be constantly updating social media and present on our phones if we’re going to do it ‘right’. I was never that bothered by social media before blogging and can still take it or leave it. I think the main ‘problem’ is that we can now do everything on our phones – from reading the news to checking directions to planning a recipe. But doing any of these things on a phone just seems so much more unsociable than reading a newspaper, checking a map, opening a cook book…I think it’s because phones are so personal and exclusive to the owner. It’s a tough one, but I do think it’s unhealthy and I think it’s only going to get worse… xx #coolmumclub

  26. I’m finding myself checking my phone when I’m with my baby and I’m sure she notices! I feel so guilty. I think taking time outs might be the answer #coolmumclub

  27. Ben used to love our phones and it kept him quiet twirling it around and around but then he started shouting at strangers in shops when their phones rang as he wanted it which made us realise we started something bad. luckily he seems unphased now but its definitely something I’m conscious of. especially now im on it all the time cos of the blog! #coolmumclub

  28. Yes yes yes! This is how I feel too. It’s scary how much we rely on our phones. I have a general “leave the phone downstairs at bed time” rule so as not to check on it in the night. When I had a newborn my NCT friends and I used to whattsapp at 3am but then I couldn’t get back to sleep! So I stopped looking at it. Now I leave it downstairs and have a good look over breakfast. I do need to get better at not being on it around my daughter. Some days are better than others. It’s worse because of blogging for me – it’s a necessary evil if you want to connect and engage with your readers. #coolmumclub

  29. I like to think that I have my phone habit under control, but in reality I can afford far more time to spend on it than I should even want to. My kids are also complete screen-freaks and I can only see this getting worse. I do have strict rules about meal times, and before school etc, but again, the reality is that it’s still too much.

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