Smartphone usage is at an all-time high with now more than 85% of the country owning (or having access to) a smartphone*.
This has changed the world of weather watching dramatically, with some opting to check weather apps on their smartphones rather than taking their own weather readings at home. Far from this being the end of home weather monitoring, this has given rise to many opportunities such as app-enabled weather stations and voice-activated weather readings. Plus, it has drawn in a whole new wave of weather watchers, who are able to take weather photos on their phones and capture spectacular images of natural phenomena which they can share worldwide.
The rise in smartphone usage isn't without it's drawbacks, though. More than half of us admit to using our phone whilst walking, and many even while crossing the road. 89% of us check our phone within 15 minutes of waking, and 41% think that our partners spends too much time on their phone.
The shift from home weather monitoring to weather app forecasts has also led to a much less personalised weather forecast for many. Whilst your barometer in your garden will be using conditions unique to your location, many apps simply draw data from the nearest available source which may be several miles away.
What's more, many of our favourite outdoor hobbies need on the spot weather data, not a forecast based on predicted conditions. For windsurfing or sailing, you're best off with a handheld anemometer which will give you wind speed readings for your specific location for that precise moment in time.
Weather app forecasts can also mean that we're not giving our gardens the care that they need. The local forecast may report rain during the day, but rain showers can be so localised that your garden may not have actually received any rain, and without a home rain gauge, it can often be hard to tell, as rain water evaporates quickly in these hot temperatures.
Here at ClimeMET, our mission is to help you make the most of the great outdoors, and while smartphones can sometimes help us do this (with information like national trust site opening hours and directions to dog-friendly beaches at our fingertips), they can also distract us from the world around us.
We want to help you 'look up'. Look up, away from your phone and up to the sky, so you can see the wonderful Great British weather that's all around us.
1. Try an app like Moments that shows you just which apps are stealing your attention on your phone. You can also set daily phone usage limits and reminders to put your phone away in the evening.
2. Set up a tide clock at home so that you can see tide times at a glance and don't need to look them up online before every trip to the beach.
3. Put a combined weather dial in your garden to give you temperature, humidity and pressure readings so you can decide whether you'll need a jacket for your morning dog walk based on readings specific to your location.
4. Pop your phone on your chest of drawers or outside of your bedroom rather than on your bedside table to help break the habit of reaching for it as soon as you wake up.
5. Set yourself 'tech-free time' each day whether that's during meal times, a lunchtime walk or an evening wind-down period so you can enjoy some time away from your phone.
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