My landline rang, and my son’s tone of voice hinted at more than a touch of annoyance.

“Where have you been?  I’ve been ringing your mobile for ages!”

I informed him that I’d just been out for a long walk, and that I never take my mobile phone out with me on these occasions.  I also went on to explain that sometimes it’s nice just to feel the sun on your face and not to worry about who is trying to get in touch.  It’s quite often absolutely wonderful NOT TO BE CONNECTED!  My son seemed somewhat stupefied by my answer, as of course possibly every person of his generation may need to be surgically removed from their mobile phones before they can undertake even the simplest of discussions.

The theory I work on is that if somebody calls and they get no reply, then they will phone back later.  Doesn’t it always work like that?

On my walk today I saw people ambling along absolutely glued to their phones, and totally oblivious to their surroundings.  Is the whole world in the throes of a mobile phone addiction?  Is it really necessary to be connected 100% of the time?  When my sons and their wives visit us, they all sit on the settee in a trance, each one staring at their phones.  My granddaughters have the addiction as well now, it makes me want to scream!

When I was growing up there were no mobile phones at all, but we survived.  Friends rang my parents’ landline, and if I wasn’t in then they’d phone back.  I grew up not needing to tell the world that I was in the supermarket, waiting for a train, or cooking the dinner.  I feel no need to publicise my location via the Facebook app, and wonder how on earth teachers instill any knowledge into young heads, if children are constantly checking messages on their mobile phones underneath the desk.  For years my mobile phone stayed in my car just for emergencies, until the exasperation of my family forced me to bring the bloody thing inside the house.

I suppose it’s another example of the generation gap, but in my case, thank goodness I was young in a time when mobile phones did not exist.  Nowadays my phone stays in my rucksack (yes, I’m one of those bohemians who never carry a handbag if I can help it).  It’s more often than not on silent because the pinging noises annoy me, and yes, I will answer your message at some point when I take it out of my rucksack in order to charge it up!