You could first put it down to the aftermath of exam pressure for my 20, almost 21 year old son. Or so I thought. Non-stop PlayStation for two days then non-stop games on his smartphone.

Day one, day two, day three. Day six. No matter how much I complained; or the fact he had company, the games on his phone never stopped.

"Do you read the newspaper on your phone" I asked him? "No" was his reply. "How about going out for a walk with me and the dogs" I ask, "no" he replies. "Movies"? Nope. Nothing could dissuade him from the pleasure of his addition to the games on his phone during the university break (no classes, studying or work).

My complaints and I left for work in Sydney on day 10 of his break.


After the masterclass I ran in the CBD, how could I not go take a walk that evening to the Sydney Opera house?

While the view was astonishing, what was hideously sad were the hundreds and I mean hundreds; of people head down on their phone playing Pokémon Go. Not looking at the scenery. Not taking in the beauty around them. Not talking to each other. Wasting battery power and their data finding their Pikachu's.

I know part of the appeal is the first taste of augmented reality but this game is getting too much publicity and to make it even worse, the articles popping up telling retailors to cash in on the craze.

I love technology but what a pity it is that it makes games so accessible.

They are so addicting to some people; to the detriment of other activity. I'm not without blame. I was hooked on spider solitaire on my phone. Down time saw me playing instead of reading articles or doing productive nurturing learning.

I wrote about it here in The 2016 Resolution That Will Save Your Time.

In hand with removing that game, I went on the lookout for apps that would be educational. That would add value. As you know with a little exploration, you can find wonderful apps for learning - based on your interests.

For example if you are a fan of art, science, mathematics history economics (I can go on and on) you must get the app Khan Academy. It is a fantastic mixture of videos and articles categorised by subject.


I have been through all the Art history basics as well as the art of Medieval Europe and Renaissance and Reformation in Europe. It has talks, interviews, museum partners, computing, test prep.... Online it's here. it's you'll find it in your app stores too.

If you're interested in arts and culture, then you must get the new Google Arts & Culture. Online it is and of course in both Apple and Google Play stores.

Instead of playing that falling dots game or Stack or you name it, you can experience the world's art in your down time.

Google Arts & Culture amalgamates works of art from 1000+ museums from 70 countries right into the palm of your hand. You can search beyond the norm - browse by color, see how artists' works evolve over their career. Think of how amazing this feature is as artists bodies of work are spread worldwide.

Instead of the Pokemon Go augmented reality, you can try virtual reality with 360-degree virtual tours viewed in Google Cardboard. I haven't gone that far yet.

When I got back from Sydney, I asked my son what he wanted for his birthday. To my complete surprise he said a kindle. BTW one of the current 'mommy nagging' items had been the countless times I reminisced about how much he used to read as a child. "will you use it" I asked? "Of course" he replied.

There is hope yet!