Dr Robert C. Scharff, author of The Philosophy of Technology, helps you stay sane in a wireless world.


Dating someone new? Keep the messages to an absolute minimum. If your communication with her is strictly superficial, your relationship will be too, says Scharff, a professor of philosophy at the University of New Hampshire. Even in platonic relationships, limit what you’re tapping out to insignificant exchanges – confirmations of plans, for example.


Don’t be like Pavlov’s pooch; make it a policy to hold off picking up the phone until after the second ring, says Scharff. This gives you time to ask yourself: “Is this call more important than the person I’m with or the task I’m working on?” If it isn’t, let it go to voice mail.


“You need to realise the difference between technology that enhances your performance and technology that alters you,” says Scharff. Before you upgrade your iPhone, ask yourself: am I buying this to improve my life? Or to try to improve who I am as a person? If it’s the latter,challenge yourself to stick with your old phone.