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Sunshine Coast Outsmarts Smartphones

September 27, 2013 DESTINATION No Comments Email Email

Australia’s  Sunshine Coast has launched the Smarter Smartphone Code of Conduct (SSCOC) – a tool that encourages visitors to unplug from technology when visiting the region.

Created by Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) and Sunshine Coast Destination Limited (SCDL), in collaboration with British technology expert, Dr. Tom Chatfield, the SSCOC is a list of seven simple behaviours that encourages individuals to break free from smartphone dependency. All behaviours are action-orientated to encourage real change:

5399951. Avoid being a search-it-all

Make the most of the moment and seek out your own special corner of the coast.

2. Elbows and phones off the table

Make the most of the moment with great food and company.

3. Kiss your phone goodnight

Make the most of your night with a restful night’s sleep or some romance.

4. Look before you snap

Make the most of the moment and take in this truly breathtaking place.

5. Take a phone-free day

Make the most of the moment and experience nature without distractions.

6. Talk now, text later

Make the most of the moment and enjoy this precious time together.

7. Taste before you upload

Make the most of the moment and savour every mouthful.

The Sunshine Coast, in Queensland, is the first ever destination to act on the issue of smartphone dependency. To encourage visitors to adopt the SSCOC, key tourist attractions and businesses across the region are embracing the initiative, including: UnderWater World, Aussie World, Mantra Mooloolaba Beach, Sunshine Coast Cabs, Noosa River Ferries, Freestyle Escape, The Ginger Factory, Big Kart Track, Lagoon Pocket B & B and Table Manners Restaurant.

To further encourage behavioural change, dedicated ‘Unplugged Zones’ have been introduced  encouraging visitors to adopt Smarter Smartphone behaviour and the Code of Conduct will be displayed on everything from coasters, posters and bedside tables in hotels, to inside taxis in the region.

An increasing number of Australians are reliant on and constantly engaged with technology. Knowing when to switch off is not only becoming more and more difficult, but it’s also affecting our ability to be fully present in our experiences.

Research undertaken by Galaxy Research and commissioned by TEQ found that 55 per cent of Australians believe they could not live 24 hours without their smartphone and 65 per cent keep their phone within arms reach throughout the day.

Anna Musson, ettiquette expert, notes that: “The research highlights how obsessed we are with our smartphones, we’ve lost touch with what constitutes positive social behaviour. 80 per cent of people said they’ve had a conversation with someone where the other person was texting and almost half of all Australians (48%) have argued with a partner over their phone usage.”

“Whilst there is widespread commentary around the appropriate use of smartphone technology, the Sunshine Coast is the first destination to put a stake in the ground to address the issue. Considering the natural beauty of the region, this is perfect destination to do so.”

Dr. Chatfield notes: “The code of conduct encourages us to become aware of our ingrained habits by making small, incremental changes to our behaviour. By making a real effort to alter our relationship with our phones, we can take back control of our own time, attention and relationships with others.”

“This doesn’t mean technology is bad, toxic or something we need to give up. Rather, we need to become technology gourmets and learn how to pick and choose how we use it.”

Simon Ambrose, CEO of SCDL, says: “By encouraging visitors to put down their phones and make the most of the moment while on holidays, the Sunshine Coast is leading the way with a real solution rather than technology taking over our lives.”

“Not only does the region have so much to offer for those looking to relax, recharge and reconnect with loved ones, visitors now have the opportunity to leave feeling naturally refreshed and armed with an idea that can better their lives.”

For more information on the SSCOC head to: visit sunshinecoast.com.au/momentscode 

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