What’s next? Nick Worthington

When I was a kid everyone smoked.

Before we’d worked out it was the biggest killer since the plague.

We all had a pack of Embassy No 6, or Rothmans in our pocket.

It somehow gave us comfort, prestige, something to do.

Our dads, our mums, our teachers, our work colleagues were all at it.

Whenever there was an awkward moment, when we were bored, when we were waiting for the bus, on the bus, at smoko, we’d reach for the packet of fags in our pocket.

No one smokes anymore, but we still reach into our pockets for that addictive social crutch.

Only now it’s a mobile phone.

Just like a packet of fags, it’s sleek, sexy and we can’t live without it.

We don’t reach for it because it’s ringing anymore.

Sometimes we don’t even know why we’re taking it out of our pocket.

It’s a nervous thing. A moment to spare, alone at a party, an awkward silence, whatever. We always get our fix.

We reach for it because we’re addicted.

Just like there were 20 cigarettes in a pack, uncannily there’s space for 20 apps on the home screen of your phone.

Four rows of five of the most addictive habits the world has created.

Facebook, e-mail, the internet, YouTube, the weather, a shortcut to my bank balance, Windguru, Spotify, Viber, TeslaLED, iTranslate, Duolingo, a camera, Google Chrome, NZHerald, a compass, S planner, MessageMe, Navionics and a phone and texts too.

You’ll all have your own personally curated pack of 20.

Any brand can be one of those 20.

Right now it would be the place to be.

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