Is it that urgent?

Today I flew to Brisbane, I was grateful for my iPhone to keep me entertained during the flight. But what really amazed me was the number of people who as soon as we landed reached for their phone.

What could be so urgent? Then I found myself doing it, announcing my arrival via text message to my friend who was picking me up. Why did I need to tell her? It wasn’t urgent. I spoke to her last night, we had agreed where we would meet and I knew she would be there. Yes my flight was 15 minutes late but she would know that thanks to the arrivals board in the airport.

Why has everything become so urgent? Why do we need to stay in touch all the time? Is it because we can rather than we have to?

Tonight I went to the theatre and came very close to strangling a man 3 seats down from me who turned his phone on during the show to read his email. What made it worse was it was only 10 minutes after the interval.


For the record this man was in his 60s and the over 20 teenage girls on a school trip to the theatre did not look at their phones once during the performance.

Surely if you are waiting for urgent news, a kidney transplant, a new grandchild or a signed contract from work, it can wait a few hours. The good news will be waiting for you when you check your phone.

I’m fascinated by my own need to feel connected. In an odd way I’m reassured that I’m not alone. Tonight after a wonderful theatre performance I watched and almost all of the people around me reached for their phones as soon as they could. Young and old alike, checked their phone before they had even left the theatre.

Why do we do it? Why do you do it? What is so urgent?

I would love to hear your thoughts about how quickly you reach for your phone after it has been turned off for a couple of hours.

4 thoughts on “Is it that urgent?

  1. I think the answer most of the time is that it’s not urgent. People just seemed to have developed this insatiable need, like an itch needing to be scratched. Almost like there’s a fear of missing out on something. Whether it’s the news, email or facebook people want to know now.

  2. the one i find interesting is when i phone rings and you’re in the middle of doing something. most people simply find it physically impossible to continue what they are doing and ignore it… they just HAVE TO pick it up. even tho there is voice mail and your phone will tell you you missed a call and who it was and you can ring them back or they can text you. people jump and run to the phone, as if it were still a rare occurrence, as if it were the 30’s and one only used the phone for dire importance!
    cracks me up to see old ladies run to their hand bag … and then miss the call anyway cos they took too long!!

    I often leave my phone home, don’t know where it is, leave it on silent for days at a time and miss calls and texts – and my friends get mad, they say “we tryed to call, we wanted to catch up” but i’m like “clearly i was doing something, therefore not free to see you anyway, hence no answer” I will not apologise for being busy doing other things rather than waiting around for a text message.

    i like your blog alison! this is the second time it has come to my attention and i am thinking maybe i will follow – you’re full of interesting questions and topics- as ever 🙂 hope you’re well x

    • Thanks for the positive feedback. The response to this post has been fascinating, people admitting they can’t leave their phone alone and others like you choosing to spending time without it. I think I have definitely touched a nerve with some people.

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