In a recent survey of Stanford students, 44 per cent said they were very or completely addicted to their smartphones. But how can you get addicted to a phone? The answer is that manufacturers, and especially Apple, practically force their customers to perform repetitive rituals of the sort associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder – and there’s a trace of OCD lurking within most of us. Increasingly we allow the iPhone to structure our day: it organises us rather than the other way round, and the short battery life only serves to increase our obsession. Apple knows this: it’s worked out that the key to addictive loyalty lies in the replacement of the people in your life by things. You think you have relationships with the friends and business contacts in your virtual address book. But, really, you have a relationship with the phone that acts as a gateway to – or a substitute for – your social life.