Coping with digital guilt

A little bit of irony (or is it?) from The Spectator’s agony aunt, Mary Killen.

Q. Further to your advice to F.B. (9 December) regarding the annoyance of people getting out their smartphones during lunch, may I pass on a tip? The person I most enjoy having lunch with is 20 years older than me but knows how addictive smartphones can be. During a lull in conversation, she will say: ‘Shall we have an iPhone break?’ and the two of us will spend guilt-free minutes scrolling through messages and Instagram likes that have piled up. We then put our phones away and enjoy each other’s company, free of the anxiety that (regrettable but true) builds up after no ‘screen time’.

-— M.B., Florence

A. It is appalling that your advice needs to be taken seriously. However it presents a reasonable compromise in this age of addiction where so many people feel anxious if they can’t monitor their screen. We need look no further for the reason behind the drop in church attendance figures.

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