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Smartphone addiction, FOMO and excessive behaviour have long been recognised and talked about, yet has this really had any impact?

We see social etiquette fast disappearing in favor of our devices. Social behaviour is becoming less social thanks to our constant social media engagement and the psychological impacts of our preference of devices, technology and cyber-reality are more and more evident – especially in young children. Is it not time to be smarter with our smartphone use?

The International Smartphone Addiction Awareness Day – MoodOff Day, now in its 8th year takes place on 23rd February 2020 with participation by thousands of ‘addicted’ Aussies and many more international smartphone users across dozens of countries expected, it is the ideal opportunity to see if you are truly in control of your smartphone or vise versa.

On the last Sunday of February we are asked to simply switch off our phones – just for 5 hours. Could you? Really, could you be without your beloved phone for a prolonged time…?

Now, if you are like most, you probably say that you are not addicted to your smartphone, but truth be told, you will only really know by ‘going without’,” says MoodOff Day founder Tapas Senapati.

“It’s the very thing that actually started the initiative eight years ago right here in Australia which has taken the world by storm. Like most people, I actually did not realise how addicted I was and habitually interacted with my phone giving it priority even during social interactions, meals, while speaking to my children and partner,” Tapas says.

“Meanwhile, we have literally had thousands upon thousands of people across 26 countries pledge to go without their phone for 5 hours on MoodOff Day and realise just how ‘addicted’ they are to their phone. Of course, it is not just about those 5 hours, but how we choose to change our daily phone habits that makes all the difference in our lives and most importantly to the people around us,” Senapati explains.

For those who love statistics, we have over 2.7 Billion smartphone users globally, which will triple by 2023. The average smartphone user checks their phone over 60 times per day with 87% right up until one hour before bed and 69% within 5 minutes of waking up in the morning. And, 86% of users check their phone while talking with family, friends and colleagues, we all know how annoying that is, right.

When it comes to driving, well, 93% of the approx 17 Million Australian drivers own a mobile phone with 59% using theirs while driving and 14% actually texting while driving. Not surprising, around a quarter of all road accidents in Australia are caused by or involve the use of a mobile phone.

While there is absolutely no valid reason whatsoever for texting while driving – there is only sparsely acceptable reason why we should have to use our smart devices while we are in conversation with people, especially our partners or children. Or during meals, when ordering your take-away coffee or when spending social time with friends… Is it that we give such priority to our phones or being instantly connected to all and everything or do we actually disconnect from the real lives we are living by virtue of our smartphone addiction?

If you have ever thought that all this talk about smartphone addiction is a lot of hype, and does not apply to you, well try to go without your beloved device and turn it off for just 5 hours on 23 February. Can you do it?

Under the motto of ‘Turn it off already’ the 8th International MoodOff Day gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself (and anyone you think might be addicted too) to see if you are the one controlling your phone, or is it really the other way around.

To learn more about smartphone addiction and MoodOff Day or to pledge your participation and support of the initiative log onto