Where are your manners?

Etiquette! What is etiquette? It is a set of rules and code of our social behaviour. So why is it important to smartphones and FOBO? It is because since our addiction, we have seemed to lose our manners in social settings. When you are out in a restaurant, how many people do you see on their phones?? Way too many to count.

We have looked at some research done by Pew and combined it with our knowledge of smartphone usage

So here  we have a new set of rules for –


The DOs

  • use your phone in public spaces, even with the risk of walking into things. Everyone in the study agreed that it was ok to be on your phone in public areas
  • send messages in front of friends and family provided it is quick. It is a lot easier to read a text than send one, so people generally feel it is more acceptable
  • use your phone to take videos and photos. It is also allowed to post said photos or videos on social media, texts or whatever. Most young adults and teenagers do automatically, so  that is a little hard to stop
  • take phone calls in front of people. 52% of respondents said they do.
  • use your phone to look up relevant or important information! Google searches, ‘where are you?’ texts, what is happening tomorrow in the calendar – are all ok!

The DON’Ts

  • use your phones in meetings, work settings, class rooms, movies, anywhere you are expected to be attentive to someone else. Nine in 10 people said it was rude and unacceptable to use phones there.
  • use your phone at meals or eating when with other people, at home or at a restaurant. It is a big NO NO!!
  • use your phone as a shield to avoid someone or conversations. Apparently it is more common with women to use phones to avoid something/someone or they are bored
  • check notifications and your phone when you are with someone else. Only if it is necessary and a reason for it.

Most should be common sense but it will be hard to adjust. I mean sadly what happened to looking someone in the eye and giving people all your attention?  We used to see phones as a tool or as what it originally was invented for, to improve communication instead of the latter. Now we are allowing this tool to change our lives and the way we adapt to society. Phones are not really an issue, it is more the way they are used.

So use your manners and remember the smartphone etiquette or it’s #ByeFelicia to you!


x BL x


‘I Forgot My Phone’

A short film was conducted in 2013 called ‘I Forgot My Phone’. It detailed the obsession with our phones and how we are becoming more isolated and not being invovled in real life. It has over 48 million views and was created by comedian and actress Charlene deGuzman.

The videos starts with a couple in bed, the woman played by deGuzman, with the boyfriend fixated on his phone rather than cuddling with her. It goes through regular day to day activities showing the life of someone without a phone. Instead of it portraying the positives of not having a phone like enjoying friends company, activities and life. It shows how lonely it can be and how isolated you really are.

tumblr_ns69zicdIB1u6uyh0o1_500The video shows scenes of deGuzman at lunch with her friends while they are on their phones, concerts with people filming it, recording and taking photos instead of listening, talking selfies and many others. It gives people another view of what smartphone usage looks like to an outsider and it ain’t pretty!

This video is a great representation of what is happening in today’s society. We might be ‘social’ and ‘involved’ when out with friends but we are not physically there. How many times have you  been out at dinner and been on your phone or been with someone else on their phone.  We are missing out on life and big moments because we are all too busy texting, Snapchatting and Instagraming the moment instead of actually being present and living them.

Not only is it lonely, but people are missing out on or forgetting basic subtle cues when with people. These missed facial expressions and eye contact change the whole conversation, tone and context. You may as well text them instead. Wifi and being online has become a basic need.


x BL x


Iowa State University Gets Indepth


So where has the phrase nomophobia actually come from? Iowa State University decided to tackle this new mental anxiety head on. Caglar Yildirim, one of the study’s authors defines nomophobia as

“It refers to fear of not being able to use a smartphone … [and] it refers to the fear of not being able to communicate, losing the connectedness that smartphones allow, not being able to access information through smartphones, and giving up the convenience that smartphones provide.”


They have created 20 questions for readers to answer  to see where they sit with their phone anxiety levels. The quiz asks people to respond to questions like “If I were to run out of credits or hit my monthly data limit, I would panic” and “If I could not check my smartphone for a while, I would feel a desire to check it. This study was tested on 300 undergraduates and some of their key findings were:

“Four dimensions of nomophobia were identified: not being able to communicate, losing connectedness, not being able to access information and giving up convenience,”

Nomophobia is a very interesting concept – why are we so fascinated by it? Our lives are constantly surrounded by technology and being connected. When was the last time you turned off your phone before bed? We don’t seem to be able to let go.

Check out the questionnaire yourself and let us know in the poll below your results! How many to you relate to. The higher scores corresponded to greater nomophobia severity.

  1. I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone.
  2. I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so.
  3. Being unable to get the news (e.g., happenings, weather, etc.) on my smartphone would make me nervous.
  4. I would be annoyed if I could not use my smartphone and/or its capabilities when I wanted to do so.
  5. Running out of battery in my smartphone would scare me.
  6. If I were to run out of credits or hit my monthly data limit, I would panic.
  7. If I did not have a data signal or could not connect to Wi-Fi, then I would constantly check to see if I had a signal or could find a Wi-Fi network.
  8. If I could not use my smartphone, I would be afraid of getting stranded somewhere.
  9. If I could not check my smartphone for a while, I would feel a desire to check it.

If I did not have my smartphone with me:

  1. I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends.
  2. I would be worried because my family and/or friends could not reach me.
  3. I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls.
  4. I would be anxious because I could not keep in touch with my family and/or friends.
  5. I would be nervous because I could not know if someone had tried to get a hold of me.
  6. I would feel anxious because my constant connection to my family and friends would be broken.
  7. I would be nervous because I would be disconnected from my online identity.
  8. I would be uncomfortable because I could not stay up-to-date with social media and online networks.
  9. I would feel awkward because I could not check my notifications for updates from my connections and online networks.
  10. I would feel anxious because I could not check my email messages.
  11. I would feel weird because I would not know what to do.

x BL x

UNICEF Tap Project

How many times have you walked into a room and seen nearly everyone on their phones? 

With the world at our finger tips, we can access anything.  However this ‘connection’ isn’t all what it seems. This new co-dependency we have with our phones has us always holding our phones or checking them for the stupidest things reasons like ” just checking the time”. I have checked my phone to ‘see the time’ but actually didn’t even look at it and had to actually re-look at my phone.

Maybe this is why UNICEF has decided to tackle this addiction head on with their campaign ‘Tap Project’. The original campaign was for people to donate $1 at restaurants for a free glass of water. However, since 2014 they have recognised this addiction and have adapted the campaign for it to involve asking people to put their phones down when out. This year it began on March 1st and coincides with World Water Week.

e28ce820-7bb6-0131-bc94-2a5b0d875d28They have a specialised app that will count how long they can go without their phones and for every minute you don’t touch it, sponsors will donate $1. This will give one day’s worth of clean water to a child. Smart move my UNICEF to integrate this new addiction into a great cause. You will have a clear conscious and are doing a good thing not only to your own mental health but fundraising too.

tap project 2

On their website, they say:

This year’s initiative provided clean, safe water for children around the world by encouraging you to stop texting, calling, emailing, tweeting and posting — and challenge your friends to do the same.

UNICEF’s aim for this campaign is to remind people how insignificant and #firstworldproblems not grabbing your phone the instant it buzzes is and to compare it to those in developing countries not having a basic need like clean water.

Last year it was very successful, as more than 2.6 million people spent nearly 255 million minutes not touching their phones, in just only a month and a half. This year, it was also very successful with today’s (22 October 2015) total days at 713 minutes, meaning water will be supplied for 71.3 days. More statistics of today’s results are in the image below.

tap project 1

Here is the campaign video:

2015 UNICEF Tap Project: Put Down Your Phone To Help Give Clean Water to Kids

Put down your phones and give to a good cause. Kill two birds with one stone!

x BL x

If it’s not on Instagram, it probably didn’t happen.

mind blown 2

Without our phones we feel naked, it is simple as that. We even pick phone cases that will match our outfits or will look good being held. All the technology and devices we own, whether your phone, tablets or computers, no longer are recognised as objects to us, but are considered an extra limb, your best friend or even bae. So maybe our phone obsession is getting out of control.

Here are some stories, courtesy of Elite Daily, that may hopefully scare you into going without your phone for one day or hour.

1. You might be sick.

Phone addiction has an official name, and there are actual treatment centers for it around the world. If you fear lack of access to technology… you have nomophobia, a term developed in Britain in 2008.

2. At the very least, it’s making you crazy.

A study out of Indiana University found that 89 percent of undergrads had experienced a “phantom” vibration, thinking they had felt a phone notification when there wasn’t one.

When your phone messes with your mind and sensations, you know you’re hopelessly addicted.

3. It’s kind of replacing your boyfriend.

According to TIME, 80 percent of 18-24 year old Americans sleep with their phones right beside them, for easy access first and last thing. If your phone is the only thing keeping you company in bed, it may be time to get out more.

4. It’s ruining your work and play.

Psychologist David Sheffield carried out a study in the UK, from Staffordshire University. He was shocked to find that  “7 percent said the use of mobile phones had caused them to lose a relationship or job.”

5. It’s become more of a priority than basic human essentials.

Of the roughly 7 billion people in the world, 6 billion own a cell phone. According to the UN, only 4.5 billion own a toilet. Additionally, more people own a phone than have access to running water. What even is happening?

6. What happens when you’re without your phone is terrifying.

One in five school kids in South Korea experience anxiety, depression and inability to sleep when separated from his or her phone, according to this Wall Street Journal article.

The Government is now having to put time and money into dealing with phone addiction and its negative side effects. South Korea is one of the few countries trying to tackle this addiction.

7. You forget how to live in the real world.

The same Wall Street Journal article states that people in South Korea are losing social skills rapidly. Kids are no longer good at reading facial expressions or intonations.

8. The numbers are staggering.

Data collected by a screenlock app say the average person unlocks his or her phone to check it 110 times a day. Some check it up to 900 times. That sounds like a huge waste of time, and worryingly compulsive.

If we did anything else 110 times a day, we’d be hospitalized.

9. Your phone is disgustingly dirty.

If you shy away from public toilets, you may be interested to know your phone is 18 times dirtier than the average public bathroom. From touching money, to touching dirty things, to sweating, your phone comes into contact with whatever you do.

And the more you use it, the worse it is. When did you last clean your phone or screen?

10.You could get really, really sick.

I hate to break it to you, but those hours you spend chatting on your cell as you walk to work or lie in the bath are really bad for you. For every 100 hours you speak on the phone (easily done for the addicts out there), your risk of brain cancer increases by 5 percent.

Try to keep calls short, and, linking back to point number 8, try to save the long conversations for in-person.

Time to check out some apps that might be able to help your ween off it – 2 Free Apps

x BL x

See more: 15 Scary Facts About Your Obsession With Your Phone That Should Worry You For The Future

Texting lanes: Is this taking it too far?


Utah is apparently introducing texting lanes??? This is now becoming ridiculous. Are we struggling that much to lift our heads? This new “culture of walking and texting” is happening whether we are ready or not.

FOBO is a big issue at universities and colleges around the world as teenagers and young adults are the biggest culprits for phone ownership. So Utah Valley University (UVU) is taking it upon themselves to assist with distracted students crashing and has painted a ‘texting lane’ onto one of the staircases at the university. It divides the staircase into three sections – walkers, runners and texters.utah-uni-texting-lane-1-517x689

Matt Bambrough, creative director at UVU, commented “You have 18-to-24 year olds walking down the hall with smartphones, you’re almost bound to run into someone somewhere; it’s something we’re dealing with in this day and age.”

But lets be real though who hasn’t walked into someone around uni while on your phone or had to dodge someone walking and on their phones. The worst is when you are stuck behind a slow walker who is on their phone making you late to class or wherever you have to go.

Utah is the only place doing this though, so maybe we actually need to take this seriously instead of mocking the ridiculousness of this. As phone addiction and ownership continues to grow rapidly, the distracted phone user is potentially a risk to others and themselves. I know I have walked into walls and doors while texting or scrolling through my insta feed.

So should our Australian universities join this new trend or is it just taking it too far? 

In a city in Belgium they have created several ‘text walking lanes’ around the city  and Chinese city of Chongqing has created China’s first ever ‘mobile phone sidewalks’. One lane is designated for non-mobile users and the other for mobile users. To further improve the structure of the sidewalks, they have split each lane for the different directions.


Belgium’s text-walking lanes


China’s mobile phone sidewalks






According to a report by research firm Pew, pedestrian injuries due to handset distraction has increased by 35 percent within the last five years. The report also outlines that other US states have tried to combat ‘text-walkers’ and texting related pedestrian accidents. Utah and New Jersey have tried fines for wandering texters and reducing speed limits in certain areas for safety.

x BL x


Asia’s Smartphone Usage Regulations


Children starting at an early age how to use smartphones and ipads

Asia is the birthplace of the selfie stick and emojis, so it is no surprise they are the forerunners in increased mobile addiction and usage. For example, in Singapore smartphones have been integrated into the school curriculum and homework is sometimes issued via WhatsApp. In Japan, they have formed a subculture called keitai culture, meaning mobile phone culture. The new Instagram trends of food porn has led to this increasing new culture encouraging addiction.

They have likened smartphone usage to mental disorders and related it to drug addiction. A psychiatrist Thomas Lee has stated that “like drug addicts, smartphone addicts will also display withdrawal symptoms like restlessness, anxiety and even anger”. This is what these countries are trying to combat with their regulations and policies.

In South Korea, they released a government app to monitor usage among teenagers and imposed restrictions of using online games after midnight. A study conducted in 2015 in South Korea found that 25% of children aged between 11 and 12 where addicted to smartphones and spend on average 5.4 hours on them daily.

China has found a way to combat this addiction with a boot camp. This camp is for young Chinese people who are about to begin college and university and is for them to discipline themselves and fix their mobile habits. Challenges such as holding their phone between their teeth and psychical military exercises are some of the  activities conducted at the camp.

chinas bootcamp

Should Australia be following similar lines and employing tactics to control mobile usages?

Question we should be asking ourselves are:

  • Is this mobile addiction getting out of hand?
  • Are these methods too intense and extreme or what we need?
  • Is it becoming a a mental heath disorder and an anxiety similar to drug addiction?
  • Is mobile addiction just the new way of living and we should get with the times?

x BL x