As a woman who only learnt to embrace technology over the past decade, I have gradually evolved from technophobe to technophile. So many elements of my world are now managed by, or function alongside, some sort of technology that the loss of my phone or a power cut could bring my entire life to a standstill!
Just how many digital and technological touch points exist in my average day I wondered, from the moment I wake up to when I fall asleep. As I began to calculate the figure, I quickly realized it was many more than I imagined.
Each morning begins with an alarm call – my mobile phone playing music to tell me that it’s time to drag myself out of bed. Never far from my side, it has replaced my alarm clock.
So, I rise to get ready for the day, checking my weather alerts from app, Dark Skies, to decide what to wear for the conditions outside the curtains. Following a run through the latest news headlines on my smartphone, and a quick check through my calendar for the day over breakfast, I open my Oral B app and it syncs with my Bluetooth enabled toothbrush, providing me with useful information on my brushing routines as I complete my two-minute clean.
I leave the house and my NEST heating and security system updates, turning my thermostat off and the motion cameras on. As I belt myself into my car, google maps tells me how long my commute to the station is likely to take and then, as I start the engine, my playlist for the month kicks in on the stereo.
It’s 8:00am and I’ve already used my smartphone over a dozen times for a multitude of services.
When I arrive at the train station and park my car, it’s a quick run through on the Ringo app, to pay for my parking before I rush for the next train (which my mobile reliably tells me is due in 7 minutes). I use Apple Pay to pay for my outward journey and then grab myself a coffee at the platform Starbucks, paying with my iPhone, as the 8:32 pulls into the station.
As I plug in my headphones and reconnect with my playlist, a NEST alert informs me there is movement in my living room and a quick glance on the handset shows one of my cats has decided to enter the room and grab a prime slot on the sofa. It’s then I suddenly realise I’ve left the lights on. No worries. I open my Kasa app and switch off the connected plug socket.
By the time I make it into the office, I will have interrogated both Facebook and Twitter several times, answered a few emails and WhatsApp messages and received confirmation from my Neato robotic hoover to tell me that it has completed its ground floor clean for the day.
Throughout my day I will dip in and out of my smartphone – using it to buy my lunch, check my total steps and even place an Amazon Prime order for delivery.
On the evening journey home, as I get back into my car at the station, NEST informs me that my heating has just come on so the house will be comfortably warm on my arrival.
I put my key in the door and then call out to Amazon Alexa to switch the main house lights on and she duly responds with confirmation of the request. I don’t feel like cooking so ask Alexa to order me a takeaway and, as I drop into the comfort of my sofa, I follow up with a request for her to dim the Philips Hue bulbs to a warmer setting.
As I wait for my food to arrive I connect to my Sonos wireless music system and invite some relaxing Schubert into my living room, just as I get a prompt on my handset to tell me my delivery is 5 minutes away.
Later, as I sit down to my stir fry, I realise that for all its merits, the one thing I haven’t used my smartphone for all day is to make an actual call.
Now is that the definition of irony?