Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (19/02/12)

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The Independent Online


I once met a person so young that he had owned a satnav for as long as he had owned a car, and as a result he had never learned to read a map. Perhaps that pre-GPS skill is no longer relevant, but it was an admission as infantilising as if he were unable to read a recipe, or a newspaper – or to read.

I was reminded of this by the news that "nomophobia" – or fear of being without a mobile phone – affects two-thirds of users. If they're afraid of that, what happens when something really goes wrong?

When I meet new friends, I like to ask what three items they would loot from Millets in the event of Armageddon. You can tell a lot by their replies. Rope, a watertight pan and a big knife are good answers, whereas anyone who relies on electronic technology is not coming with my gang when society breaks down. They might get all nomophobic and ruin our escape.


I like the thinking behind this new ad for online dating, designed to appeal to women customers. The advert shows that there's a lot to be said for being single – long lie-ins; drinks with friends; painting a wooden chair bright blue without some lummox of a man pooh-poohing your paint charts and saying that he'd prefer it if the entire house was the same shade of boring off-white – and therefore it will take someone really special to be worth giving all that up for.

In a new survey, more than half of women interviewed seemed to agree, saying that they enjoy being single and appreciate being able to spend their time and money on whatever they like. Including cushions, they were probably thinking. This will come as a shock to smug marrieds who like to believe that secretly, under their clothes, single women are entirely covered in scales. But will it really encourage women to find partners online?

Only if they add a new box to the forms, I reckon, asking men to state their willingness to tolerate all the wilder reaches of the Farrow & Ball colour spectrum, from Elephant's Breath to Mizzle.