Posted | March 11th, 2020
Putting our phone down – why so hard?
When is it time to put the phone down?
Hannah Banks – @bannahhanks
We are all the same…
Isn’t it crazy that even when we barely have our eyes open, or have stepped out of bed, most of us have already done a ‘scroll and processed a tonne of information. By the time we are putting our bread in the toaster or stepping into the shower, our minds are buzzing with snippets of news and images of the cocktails our friends sipped last night. As we leave the house, we hear pep talks from fitness fanatics during their morning workout.
We are all guilty of doing the morning stroll and scroll, the journey to work scroll, at work scroll, waiting for food at a restaurant scroll. The list could go on and on, just like our poor thumbs do.
Is this an addiction?
Fun fact, the average person in the UK spends an entire day a week online! Twenty-four whole hours per week spent staring into the blue lights, with 16-24 year olds spending an insane average of 34 hours a week online.
The addiction doesn’t stop at how many hours on our phones we are clocking up, but also about planning parts of our lives around it. Growing up as a teenager in the noughts, AKA having Two sets of flares from Tammy and 2 tops from Gap which were worn 1000 times (until Mum was called in to sew up the damage), is worlds away from the ‘I can’t wear this, I already have a photo in it’ culture.
Admit it, we have all thought about what we are wearing on a night out and if it’s going to pop on the gram. Obviously, as rules go, if you didn’t get a photo wearing said popping outfit, you can literally wear it out the very next night out. If you did get the photo maybe leave it a few times before re wearing, understand? Good, let’s move on to food!
What are businesses doing?
Many cafes and restaurants now revolve their interior design plans around a central brief – make them ‘Instagrammable’. The power of the photos which customers post online is what can make or break your establishment. You probably are already thinking of a place you’ve seen which is seemingly made for insta. Eateries are trying to one up each other making dishes and drinks which will look eye catching on that feed with a filter.
From towering pancake stacks to coffees of all colours under the sun (activated charcoal or lavender latte anyone?), it’s a nudge to photograph their grub. The addiction goes both ways, as everywhere battles to bring in the audience. Who hasn’t been guilty of feeling your hand itch for your phone when something aesthetically pleasing arrives at the table, I know I have! Hotspots like Sketch have banned camera flash in their restaurants so that customers don’t feel like they’re having dinner in a press pit.
From clothes and food to locations, we all want the same thing. Queues can now be seen forming at beauty spots, full of people waiting in turn to get that iconic shot. The infinity pool at the Cambrian hotel in Switzerland, where people could no longer relax in front of the striking mountain panorama – ironic huh – now has strict photo slots for Instagram for an hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, with no photos or posing allowed outside of those times.
Sadly it can be a costly fixation, as keeping up the Insta-Worthy lifestyle online comes at a price if you aren’t sponsored or receiving freebies. A study by Credit Karma found that Gen Z’ers spend an average of £400 a week, with 7 out of 10 going into debt, in order to imitate social media stars. Whether that is the constant need for new clothes, eating in swanky restaurants influencers have been or undergoing beauty treatments to look like who they are following.
Enjoy the aspirational influencers you follow but please remember they are most likely being paid or gifted.
Anyway, back to my scrolling…..
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