Ask Timpo: When to turn off the smartphone?

A: My wife, Alex, had the same attitude until I bought her a BlackBerry of her own. Now any messages to do with family and friends are ok but she still complains when business invades our leisure time.

Let’s be honest: smartphones have become addictive and we should worry what things will be like in a decade or two when the world is run by the current crop of 15-year-old kids who are already using mobile devices for eight hours a day.

But did you notice how little business was done on smartphones over last Christmas. Once all the silly e-greetings had been delivered, the world went on holiday and flashes of the red light on my BlackBerry were few and far between. But by 10:00am on January 3 everything was back to normal.

The fact is, whatever your partner or mine might say, we are hooked. A smartphone-less weekend would be enough to create serious withdrawal symptoms and an e mail-free fortnight on holiday could create the depths of depression. We are so used to having all the news, good and bad, a bulletin-free break would ruin your holiday. (It is much less stressful to go back to the office fully up to date with events.)

So the answer to your problem is to lie. Tell your wife or partner that you have left the BlackBerry at home then hide it in your washbag so you can keep in touch every time you go to the bathroom.

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