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lock them all up and then throw away the key.

Apparently, there's a new 'medical condition' that some- one with, no doubt, a freakishly large brain has decided to call nomophobia. As much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, dear reader, the chances are that if you happen to be reading this article that you are statistically more likely than most to be a sufferer. I'm sorry.

You see nomophobia is the term that has been given to the tendency to allow technology toruleone'slife.Itwouldseem that this manifests itself most tangibly in the frantic and pretty much continuous checking of BlackBerrys, iP- hones and the like. And of all theindustriesthatshowaten- dency to be populated by "nomophobics" (I'm guessing that this is the collective term), advertising seems to be pretty high up there.

I guess the upside to this is that nomophobia minimises the chances of missed dead- lines, disgruntled clients and aggrieved colleagues. The ap-parent downside of being con- tinuously welded to technolo- gy is that it has a tendency to make us more angry, absent minded and narcissistic (I know it's difficult to believe that ad folk could be tetchy, forgetful and vain).

However, don't worry, as it would seem that help is at hand. Recognising that the onset of nomophobia is a very real concern a number of very forward-thinking hoteliers across Europe and North America have set up the rather frightening (and I would like to think tongue-in-cheek) notion of "digital detox" packages.

Apparently, upon arriving at reception as well as handing over your credit card details you also hand over your phone, iPad and laptop. Frankly, the thought of going "cold turkey" on technology is one that fills me with complete and utter dread,butalsoonethatIrather reluctantly acknowledge could be rather beneficial.

However, if ever I were to decide to give myself a break from technology I think the an- swer would be to simply leave all my various gadgets at home in a big box with an equally large padlock on the front and hand the key over to my wife for safe keeping. Partly as this seems an infinitely more sensi- ble solution than having to pay a premium to attend a "digital detox session".

Partly because, if it really came to it, I fancy my chances of convincing her to hand me back the key. But mostly as the thought of having to spend any period of time with a group of hotel guests that are statistically likely to include angry, absent minded and narcissistic advertising folk wouldn't really be that much of a holiday - either for them or for me.

Chris Bell is chief executive officerand managing partner of Face to Face, Dubai

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Publication:Campaign Middle East
Date:Sep 2, 2012
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