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Saturday 16 December 2017

Melanie Morris: Am I addicted to my iPhone? I'll tell you after I send this email...

"Get your face out of your iPhone, Melanie, I'm trying to kiss you goodbye" ... That's what my boyfriend said to me this morning. I don't think it was an absolute 'goodbye', or at least, I hope it wasn't. But, for the past six months, I've been in the throes of a serious iPhone addition, so I wouldn't blame him if he'd had enough.

Instead, though, and what makes me feel sure he'll come home tonight, is that like all addicts, I think I've brought him down with me, because last week he bought an iPhone of his own.

Now I fear for the future of our relationship.

Actually, I fear for many relationships because this week, iPhones become available on the Vodafone network as well the existing solo provider, O2.

So they've become more accessible. Maybe mobile phone shops are becoming like some sort of alternative Headshop. A way to easily and legally feed a habit that ultimately can't be good for you.

iPhones are possibly doing what the television did to previous generations. They're pulling us even further away from conversation, and 'real-time' human interaction.

But they're brilliantly handy and great fun and informative ... it doesn't really matter that the 'phone' on them isn't great -- how often does one actually speak on it?

No, I'm far too busy counting carbs, or tracking motor routes, or baking virtual cupcakes, or updating my Facebook status, to actually dial a number.

And lest I get too sedentary, I head out for an assisted run (a voice talks me through) and listen to radio podcasts, streamed though the same device.

I know I can give up my iPhone whenever I want ... just let me finish this game of Solitaire first.

There seems to be an app(lication) for everything and a certain amount of one-upmanship has developed between myself and the boyfriend as we try to outdo each other with the treasures we've found.

He might be monitoring his sleep, punching an interactive blob or launching cartoon sheep at a moving target. I wouldn't notice, I'm too busy popping imaginary bubble wrap or responding to email.

Funnily enough, the Sunday walks have dwindled as of late.

And I can recall my iTunes password faster than I can remember what book is beside my bed.

Jeepers, I'm in danger of turning into an insular being. One who can't interact, unless it's through a device.

I've always thought that young people who refuse to remove their headphones in a shop or at the bank are rude. And I hate the monosyllabic grunt that seems the only method of communication between computer gamers.

Time-hungry execs that spend their lives hooked up to BlackBerrys are equally abhorrent, but it seems by owning an iPhone, I am now each of these awful types rolled into one. Help!

It's time to make amends, time for me to reclaim my personality. At least one good fault of the iPhone is that its battery life is short.

Perhaps we should both limit ourselves to one charge per day; when the juice runs out, so does access for the rest of the day.

Or maybe I just need to go cold turkey? Cast off the iPhone and return to the real world. I'd say the number of home cooked dinners might rise, except I couldn't access my Jamie Oliver app for the recipes.

By way of a carrot to encourage me away from the iPhone, those nice people in Samsung have sent me one of their cute new Hello Kitty phones.

Obviously, my first instinct was to see what Hello Kitty apps there are for my hand-held heroin, but on second thoughts, switching to this new handset could be my path to redemption. Time to go back to basics and use a phone for its actual purpose. Well, with a few pretty pink extras.

Now all I have to do is find something to distract himself away from his iPhone. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink ...

Melanie Morris is editor of IMAGE Magazine

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