The Project host and mum-of-two says she’d always judged the people who “can’t be more than 10 metres from their phone”, until she realised she was one of them.
“The other night, I settled in for movie night with my son and he protested, ‘No second screening, Mum.’ I nearly fell out of the bed,” she wrote. “How does he know the term “second screening”, and why is he telling me? I never do that ... do I? Am I that person? I AM that person. Oh god. Those people are the worst.”
Even on a kid-free getaway with her partner Chris, she found herself sitting by the picturesque campfire, scrolling and scrolling and scrolling.
“So Chris and I have introduced some phone rules into our relationship. I know, sexy right? It used to annoy him that I would jump on my phone within a minute of waking up in the morning, so now we don’t check any device for the first half-hour of the day. It used to bug me when he’d answer texts through dinner, so now we leave our phones in our bags when we go out, and our conversations have been so much better for it.”
It’s a rule that most Aussie couples could do with copying, given that 80% of us check our devices as soon as we wake up in the morning, then up to 150 times throughout the day, equalling, on average, 46 hours a week stuck on our screens.
There’s even been a term coined to describe the act of destroying date night with your handheld device.
‘Phubbing’ is the habit of snubbing someone mid conversation to use your phone, and a study out of Baylor University in Texas, found that it’s occurring in 46 per cent of relationships.
Researchers also found that 22 per cent of ‘phubbing’ directly resulted in arguments.
“The presence and use of cell phones is ever-increasing causing the boundaries that separate our work and other interests from our romantic relationships to become more and more blurred,” say Dr James Roberts and Dr Meredith David.
It might just be time a leaf out of Bickmore's book – put the smartphone away and reap the relationship benefits.