Why are you always checking your phone – are you involved in a hostage negotiation?

Stats say we’re checking our phones around 150 times a day.

Social media and cellphones are the new cigarettes and alcohol, lighting up our brains with dopamine.

We all love our mobile phones, they’re amazing machines. But life is about people and sometimes these devices get the better of us. We need to remember the fundamentals. Sometimes the phone needs to be put on hold.

If you’re a doctor then you are allowed a few concessions. The president? Also fine. If not, then it can probably wait. Check that funny cat link in your private time. Instagram can wait. Michelangelo might never have finished the Sistine Chapel if he was constantly checking Pinterest or his blog comments. Unlikely due to no decent Vatican Wi-Fi in 1480, but you get the point.

If someone keeps defaulting to their phone when they’re with you, ask if there’s an emergency – make them aware that their phone is getting a lot of attention. Ask when they can schedule time away from the phone and if can they fit you in around then.

It’s not just one person ignoring another, entire groups of people in social situations stare at their hands, not talking to one another.

You know there’s a problem when it’s easier to WhatsApp someone across the room – rather than getting their attention by speaking to them.

The zombie virus has been spreading for years, people walking and driving around with their eyes on a small screen, half engaged with reality and the digital world, not being completely mindful of their surroundings. It starts strong in the youth, but has quickly spread across the generations and age groups. Don’t walk, drive or Zimmer frame and text. It’s dangerous.