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There are more smartphones than people in the UK

  Forum Editor 08:02 11 Aug 2016

and 59% of people say they are 'hooked' on their smartphones. Anyone who travels on aircraft will have noticed how the cabin lights up and resounds to a myriad of beeps and chirps on landing, as everyone desperately checks Twitter and Facebook after a few hours of deprivation. I make a point of turning my phone off when I am with friends at home, or when I meet people in restaurants. Anyone who wants to speak to me badly enough can leave a message, or ring me back later. I confess that I rely on my phone for emails and internet activities however, although I'm not a fan of social media.

One man decided to live without his, and his experience makes interesting reading.

What about you - are you a phone addict, is your smartphone an essential part of your life or could you do without it and go back to a plain old mobile that texts and makes/receives calls, but not much else?

  BT 08:31 11 Aug 2016 everyone desperately checks Twitter and Facebook

Young lady who lives next door to me, the first thing she does when she arrives home in her car is to check her phone before she gets out of the car.

Anyone who wants to speak to me badly enough can leave a message, or ring me back later.

I don't give out my number to anyone other than a select few as I don't need to. I'm retired and am at home most of the time so people can call me on my home phone. My Mobile is switched off when I'm at home. Its only a basic mobile not a Smartphone so not used for anything other than calls and texts, and is only on when I'm out alone and my wife is at home alone so that she can contact me if necessary. It seems everyone wants my mobile number. The Pharmacist said to me the other day "We can send you a text when your prescription is ready". Totally unnecessary, I know when I requested it and when it should be ready. The chap in the car dealership said "We haven't got your Mobile number". So what? They've got my home number and that's all they need.

Not a lot of people know that you can send a text to a landline and it will be converted to a spoken message. Works on Virgin and is also available on BT lines.

  Brumas 09:21 11 Aug 2016

I am definitely not a mobile phone person, I have one, practically covered in moss, which I keep in the car for emergencies or for when we are travelling down to visit our children in Preston. Inevitably my daughter will ring when we are half way to check on our ETA.

To be truthful, when I see all and sundry glued to their phones (my daughter included) I think how sad their life must be that they are tied to it!

No doubt I will get it in the neck from those of you who think that they are the best thing since sliced bread but each to his own!

  morddwyd 09:32 11 Aug 2016

" is your smartphone an essential part of your life "

Only insofar as my PIM is on it, and that I do use a lot (shopping, daily chores, pill reminder etc.).

As a phone the main effect of its loss would be having to wait when I order a pizza rather than having it waiting for me when I finish shopping!

A £10 credit lasts me about three months.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 09:40 11 Aug 2016

I have a bad habit of leaving my mobile phone on the desk. It only occasionally gets used for anything other than calls.

As for social media...

Thought I would follow the Facebook action in real life - I give the thumbs up to everyone I meet it the street and ask to be their friend - I tell them what I had for breakfast and what I will have for my tea - I show them pictures of my family and pets - Its working I already have three people following me - A policeman a Doctor and a Psychiatrist.


  Forum Editor 11:25 11 Aug 2016

"To be truthful, when I see all and sundry glued to their phones (my daughter included) I think how sad their life must be that they are tied to it!"

That viewpoint really sums up the generation gap in a sentence.

Older people tend not to see the point of a smartphone - mainly because they are retired, and are not being contacted by clients, colleagues, or other work-related people. They probably have a computer at home, on which they do a bit of web-surfing and emailing.

Younger people have grown up with smartphones - they want to communicate like no other generation in history because they can. They organise their social and business lives to a large extent via their phones.

I use mine to make and check bank transactions, to find the nearest Uber-cab and tell it to come to me, to book train tickets, to store aircraft boarding cards, car-hire reservations, hotel bookings, and appointments. If my car breaks down, the RAC app on my phone automatically sends my location to the rescue centre (including the postcode, if necessary) and shows me the quickest route to my destination avoiding heavy traffic.

Another app from my car manufacturers tracks all my journeys, and gives me the distance, elapsed and remaining time, and calculates the fuel cost for each journey.

Another app lets me browse the TV schedules, and turn on my SKY box to record a programme if I forget to do it before I leave the house.

Nowadays there is a smartphone app for pretty well everything, and if there isn't one that fulfils your particular requirements you can bet that someone, somewhere is designing it. If you have a smartphone you can do just about anything that you can do on your home computer, from anywhere in the world.

Ours is a connected planet, and your personal key to the communication door fits in a shirt pocket. It's not for everyone, but it is for the majority - there are currently 2.3 billion smartphone users in the world and that figure is rising fast. It will be almost 3 billion within two years. That's more than half of the world's adult population.

In the UK, 90% of people aged 16-24 years own a smartphone; in the 55-64 year age group the figure is 50% - it has doubled in the last four years.

  Forum Editor 11:42 11 Aug 2016


"This struck me as so unlikely I started to look into it"

I should clarify:-

There are just under 45 million smartphone users in the UK, but many of them have more than one phone. Large numbers of people have a business phone provided by their employer, as well as a personal phone. I have two handsets in use, as does my wife, and there are another two or three in a cupboard. Lots of people hold onto their old handsets when they get an upgrade from their phone company, and because the old phones have been registered and have a unique ID, they are included in the statistic.

The figure I gave is for the number of registered handsets in the country.

  LastChip 13:21 11 Aug 2016

To answer your question; I don't know. Statistics can be (as you pointed out) misleading.

Personally, I do have a smart phone, but use it only when I have to. I refuse to have a contract, preferring pay as you go and a £10 credit will last me 3 - 6 months. So the phone companies are not getting rich on me.

That said, my children use them extensively, in particular, my sons business would probably collapse without it. He can run his business from anywhere he has a signal and can access everything he needs to to give instant responses to clients.

Personally, I wouldn't care if they switched them all off tomorrow and they should certainly be banned in confined public places. The idea of sitting next to someone on a flight for 4 - 5 hours (perhaps longer) with them incessantly rambling on is quite frightening.

I am quite sure, people are addicted to them, having seen a number of people now walk straight in front of heavy vehicles while glued to their screens giving the drivers a fright they won't forget for months. Thankfully, somehow all the ones I've witnessed have got away without injury. Obsession at that level, can't be good and one has to question their intelligence levels, or at the very least, their lack of awareness and the world around them.

  morddwyd 13:34 11 Aug 2016

Depends a bit on the definition of smartphone I suppose.

I have two smart phones but I also have two tablets with full SIMs which I have certainly used as phones on occasion.

  TopCat® 13:43 11 Aug 2016

I'm one of the 'don't have one' crowd and, despite pleas from some of the younger family members to get one, I and my wife still prefer our landline phone. Each to their own, as they say, but I do understand why these modern handsets are all the rage today.

What does make me angry though is the rising number of drivers, both truck and car, I see using these smartphones at the wheel. The terrible and possibly tragic consequences of their actions don't bear thinking about. TC.

  Forum Editor 13:48 11 Aug 2016


"The terrible and possibly tragic consequences of their actions don't bear thinking about."

Indeed - here's a tragic case in point.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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