How much is too much?
Walking down the street these days, no one is looking at the sky or the scenery. Their heads are in their phones, scrolling through social media or sending more and more texts and emails. In restaurants, it’s the same – where is the good old-fashioned conversation? Really, it’s become an addiction that’s getting way too out of control in our society. The selfies, the videos, the texting, the apps, the filters – it’s too much. There needs to be a balance between the phone and real life.
It’s hard for me, because my phone is my office. Having a smart phone gives me the freedom to be truly nomadic. I can take my work with me wherever I go – be it travelling between Verona and Ibiza, or to my daughter Mia’s after school activities. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be with her as she rollerblades, practices Judo and athletics and takes swimming lessons (you can see she’s a little tomboy!), without having to miss out on any important work calls or emails. You see, my parents were both in the office every night until 8pm and they couldn’t take their work on the road. I know the phone is good for me in this way and I’m lucky to be able to watch my daughter grow up in front of my eyes.
But the thing is, when we’re together like this, Mia sees me using my phone and she’s always yelling, “Mum! Look at me!” and I have to explain to her, “Darling, Mummy is here, but she is multitasking. I have to work so I can be with you too.” It’s hard for kids to understand this of course; they see the phone as something fun. They’re always begging for some time to use the phone or the iPad for games, photos and social media and you have to be able to just say no.
For this reason, I always make sure to keep the phone away or off on the weekends when Mia and I are together. I have to show her that I can also say no to myself too… and it’s important to have some time away from technology, to break the habit. Even social media – which for me is as much of a passion and an inspiration as it is work – can be addictive. Although I love it when you’re out dancing and you realise the next morning you didn’t stop to post any pictures. You realise what a good time you had because you didn’t use your phone at all! It’s the very opposite of all these selfies and duck face bathroom photos. I like to take one photo at the beginning of the night and then put it back in my bag.
I’ve always designed bags for women like me, who need to have all their essentials close at hand as they go from place to place. My Lilith bag – a true BB classic and one of my long-term bestsellers – is a great example of a beautiful bag that caters to the perfect work/life balance. You can fit your phone, iPad, make-up, keys and wallet in there so you never need to miss a beat. You’ll never miss a call either, because when your your phone is in the side pocket, hugging your body right there by your side, you’ll always feel it vibrate whenever it rings.
During the summer, I was on the go a lot and so my phone was essential to stay in touch on top of my work life. For a short while this year, I was also in a relationship and I would notice that during the days we’d spend together, I wasn’t reaching for my phone as much as usual. I was too busy just living and enjoying our time together. Now, I’m back to being single which makes me wonder: should I be on Tinder? I tried it for two days but I am a romantic at heart… I hope my soulmate is not in an app! I hope he’s outside in the real world, looking for me like I’m looking for him. I probably have to try it online dating again one day soon… but then that’s even more hours spent on the phone. How much is too much and when will we say enough is enough?