We use them on the toilet and let them interrupt our sex lives – our obsession with smartphones is so shameless one Aussie tourist destination is taking unprecedented action to curb it.
In a world first, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is introducing a `smartphone code of conduct’ to help phone-addicted visitors make the most of their holiday.
Tourism operators are also backing the code, which encourages holidaymakers to kiss their mobiles goodnight, remove phones from restaurant tables and enjoy their food before uploading photos of it.
Sunshine Coast Destination Limited (SCDL) CEO Simon Ambrose says the region’s tourism operators like the initiative because they are finding it increasingly difficult to communicate with visitors.
“The general feeling you get when talking to business operators is that it can be a bit disconcerting when people are constantly talking on their phones,” Mr Ambrose told AAP.
“What we are saying is you need technology – it’s just what you do with it.”
Tourism and Events Queensland uncovered disturbing trends from research they commissioned into our mobile habits.
Almost half of Australians (48 per cent) have been interrupted by their phones during sex, while 53 per cent admitted to using their phones on the toilet.
Etiquette expert Anna Musson says Australians are so hung up on their smartphones that they can’t even put them down while on holiday.
“We are going away on holidays and we are still checking emails, responding to calls and taking photos of food before we’ve even eaten it,” Mrs Musson told AAP.
“Australians have a severe case of FOMO – a Fear Of Missing Out – if they don’t check their phone every 10 minutes.”
The `smarter smartphone code of conduct’ will be plastered on everything from coasters to taxi interiors across the Sunshine Coast.
All major tourism attractions and a number of hotel and restaurants in the region are also introducing `unplugged zones’ that urge holidaymakers to be smart about phone use.
Mrs Musson applauded the Sunshine Coast for introducing mobile behaviour guidelines and hoped other destinations would follow suit.
“If it went national we’d be a nicer country,” she said.
“We are losing the art of conversation because rather than making small talk with someone we are playing on our smartphones.”