Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is waging war on the over use of smartphones, becoming the first place in the world to introduce so called unplugged zones.

The initiative encourages tourists to switch off screens and reconnect with life.

Sarah Orr reports.


The latest Galaxy survey shows sixty-five per cent of people are so attached to smartphones they couldn’t live a day without them.

Nevertheless the Sunshine Coast wants to introduce “unplugged zones” to help visitors enjoy their holidays more and de-stress.

Anna Musson, Etiquette Expert: “When we’re out with our family we really need to be in the moment so don’t take your phone to dinner, don’t check it all through the day, when you’re on holidays, be on holidays.”

The coast tourist operators have acted because Smartphone technology is quickly infiltrating our lives.

Galaxy Research has revealed fifty-three per cent of people use their phone in the bathroom.

Forty-eight per cent confess smartphones have interrupted moments of intimacy.

Dr Tom Chatfield, Technology Expert: “For a lot of people, our dependence on smartphones and technology is a source of quite profound anxiety and stress. We find ourselves checking email late at night, we find ourselves failing to set aside time when we cannot be accessed.”

Dr Chatfield has helped develop a seven point code of conduct asking us to take a phone free day.

Some holiday-makers welcomed the idea.

Renee Pont, Tourist: “Don’t need a phone and it is our chance to switch off from Sydney which is a pretty fast pace and we can sit back, relax, and enjoy the kids.”

UnderWater World at Mooloolaba also likes the concept.

Mark Ryan, Mammal Manager, UnderWater World: “Groucho’s not too much of a fan of people using their phones in the shows, he wants them to concentrate on him a little bit more.”

The idea could catch on.

Sarah Orr, QUT News.