STOP PRESS: An addiction to smartphones is leaving its mark on us all

THE MARK OF MOBILES: "You’ll see heads stuck in smart phones everywhere and there’s no doubt they’re suffering from mobile addiction" - Denis Gregory.

THE MARK OF MOBILES: "You’ll see heads stuck in smart phones everywhere and there’s no doubt they’re suffering from mobile addiction" - Denis Gregory.

The universities of Western Sydney, Griffith and Murdoch have joined forces to try to understand how smartphones are changing our lives and what impact they’re having on our relationships and kids.

Well, here’s some observations for their survey.

Next time you’re down town you’ll see heads stuck in smart phones everywhere and there’s no doubt they’re suffering from mobile addiction.

Jack is posting he’s having a pie and tomato sauce for lunch, Jill is describing her new purple nail polish, Mary is scanning friends’ pages for gossip and Bill is ‘liking’ complaints about footpaths.

All this screen gazing produces new wrinkles around the neck to join the likes of laughter lines, crows' feet and worry furrows and as well as an increase in these turkey-like necks, all the hunching over our beloved phones is also causing back pain.

And if you don’t jump out of the way to avoid these internet surfers on footpaths in the CBD or in the supermarket you’ll get knocked over while they’re glued to their small screens without a single glance where they’re going.

As for kids, a British study found that every hour they spend on smart phones or tablets like iPads resulted in 16 minutes less sleep because blue light from screens can affect the body clock, disrupting circadian rhythms.

So, that’s how they affect you.

NEW POLICE RADIO BASE

POLICE Minister Troy Grant may soon have to make a decision on the location of a new police radio base in the country that would employ 300 people.

Police now have VKG radio centres in Sydney, Penrith, Newcastle, Oak Flats on the south coast and Tamworth, but they could be reduced to two.

Tamworth covers a huge area west of the Great Dividing Range that includes Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo, Cowra, Parkes, Forbes and beyond.

But with new technology there’s no longer a need to have communication centres in the area of operations because they can be run from anywhere and police have already closed down Wagga Wagga.

Former assistant police commissioner of communications Bob Waites at the time of the closure said the reality was the Tamworth centre “can’t last forever”.

He said it would become obsolete by 2015 but the decision to close it would come from the NSW Government which now could well be supporting local Nationals MP Kevin Anderson by keeping it open.

Mr Waites said NSW would be run with two super centres, one in Sydney and the other anywhere in the state, but would have to be in a community that could support it with sufficient staff of around 300.

Police radio reception from Tamworth now is awful and communication between the base and Orange police cars is regularly unreadable, at times putting officers at risk.

So the Tamworth base could be shut down and replaced by a new super centre somewhere in country NSW.

That means Orange, for one, should keep an eye on Dubbo’s police minister Troy Grant or else, like the railway workshops, we’ll be left in the cold again.

WE’RE TICKING ALONG AGAIN

OUR Post Office clock has been silent for more than four years but, hallelujah, the thing’s going again. Declare a half holiday. It just goes to show time doesn’t stand still forever … just for four years.

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