Smartphone Addiction: Are You?

N.B. This blog post was written in June.

The Eurostar was running late, trespassers on the line, I still had an hour left to kill and I was bored of my magazine and my iPhone so I thought I would write a blog post.

While sitting in Gard du Nord station in Paris waiting to board I looked around and noticed that pretty much everyone in the vicinity was using a mobile phone, mostly smartphones – I was using one too! I tell a lie there was a woman reading on her Kindle, not her phone.

I have read a few blog posts recently about smartphones, one in particular I remember because the title was ‘Are you sleeping with your smartphone?

Smartphone Addiction: Are You?I’ve had my iPhone for 2 years now and it goes everywhere with me, currently it is sat on my lap underneath my netbook, while trying to write this post on the Eurostar with it going round bends fast, it’s not easy… The French girl next to me is asleep and I just had to rescue her iPhone from the floor as it flew off the little lap table!

I use my iPhone for many things, I don’t sleep with it but it is the first thing I pick up each morning before I have eaten breakfast and taken a shower. I check my email (business and personal), then I check Facebook (again business and personal), then I check Twitter for any mentions or retweets and I thank those people. I then pop over to Buffer to post out my automated ‘Thanks for following’ tweet to any new followers (I use to automate this). I think I then get out of bed and get ready for work.

During the day it will sit next to me on the desk and will bing every time I receive a new email or someone retweets or mentions me, I take a quick look to see if it needs an instant reply and if not then I carry on with work. In the evening when I have finished work for the day I sit on the sofa watching the TV and flick through Flipboard, starring things in Google Reader to be added to Buffer, or emailing the links to Buffer instead.

Rumor has it, the iPhone 5 is being released in October and I have a dilemma about what to do. I live in France but my iPhone is currently on a contract  in the UK with Vodafone.

I have a good deal, I get 10 free texts per day back to the UK which does me just fine, as I use WhatsApp with some friends and also plenty of friends have iPhone’s so we can use iMessage for free. I also get 25Mb of Internet free per day, which in general is fine because I don’t tend to use 3G a lot, but there are occasions (like yesterday) when my phone decides to sync so much data that I go over my data allowance and Vodafone send me text messages every few minutes to inform me. I make no calls with my iPhone in France and incoming calls are directed straight to Voicemail so I can decide whether to call people back. It costs me 75p connection charge for up to an hour for every incoming and outgoing call I receive or make.

My dilemma in September when my current contract comes to an end is whether to get a French contract or upgrade my current UK contract. I will lose my 10 free texts back to the UK, but I will gain Internet access (probably not limited). Any calls I make to the UK will no doubt cost more than 75p though, but I never make calls in France and if I do I have a landline to do that (with free calls). Another problem I foresee if I get a French iPhone is that it will be connected to the French iTunes store which I had issues with recently with my iMac purchase. I am English, I want to buy English apps and products even though I live in France.

I use my iPhone for everything, but I wonder whether sticking with my UK contract is the better plan. When I use my iPhone outside of the home (and wifi) it is only to check social media channels and email which I tend to keep within the 25Mb limit anyway.

I’m a freelancer, I work from home and sometimes I need to be flexible with my working environment.  That means when I am out and about I need to be able to check my emails for anything urgent, or take calls from clients during working hours.  In the summer I’d like to sit outside to work, so having a smartphone means I can continue to work away from my desk.

So what would you do?  

I’m not even sure I can upgrade in the UK if I live in France, I think I need to do some more investigation.  I will be totally lost without my iPhone, maybe I shouldn’t upgrade at all and keep my iPhone 4 – do I want to risk losing the contract altogether?!

I guess this concludes that yes, I am addicted to my smartphone!


  1. Sounds like sticking with the UK plan is a better way to go! Good luck in your decision! {PS – I can’t LIVE without my iPhone now!}

  2. I use Skype. With a reasonable low monthly (or yearly) purchase of credits I can make calls to the UK or anywhere in Europe for a few pennies per minute. There is a Skype app for iPhone that lets you receive calls to your Skype account or have them forwarded to your cell. You could set up a business number to receive calls from another area code. Calls are handled on your Internet service and are free between Skype users. My contract is $30.00 CDN for one year and includes all calls in Canada and USA. There should be a similar package to include all of Europe and UK. It can handle SMS text for about 10 cents per MSG. Where WiFi is available Skype can use that to connect to the net and call any phone number.

    • Thanks Doug, I’ll look into that. I also use Skype, but my Internet connection can sometimes be unpredictable so I don’t know whether I could rely on it as much. I do have a landline with free calls to the UK and other countries. I think my main concern is having the English apps and my free SMS to the UK.

  3. If you’re happy with your current iPhone change to one of their sim only plans and save yourself a lot of money. I kept my same price plan last year but the price dropped from £35 a month to £10.50 just because I wasn’t paying for the phone any more

  4. Definitely.

    Mine has replaced my laptop, well, all but. I rarely use it now. The iPhone can do almost everything it could. Take a look along any london tube train and you will probably see at least 10-20 people all with smart phones, at least 60% are iPhones.

    The new iPhone is rumoured to have a new dock connector, too. It’ll be fappin’ pricey, you can guarantee that, hopefully not as uncomfortably large as the Galaxy III, though.

  5. Nina R.P. @ Work From Home says:

    Wow a certified smartphone addict! I am a tablet addict so I’m pretty much addicted to a gadget too.. only bigger. lol

  6. Try the Samsung SIII awesome bit of kit and lots of great apps :-)

  7. the idea of a SMART phone scares me, just the the digital clocks did years ago.

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