IT has become a common sight in theatres and cinemas - little pools of light in the darkness, distracting everyone around them.

These pools of light are, of course, from mobile phones. They belong to people who simply cannot bear to switch off, even when they’re meant to be immersed in the experience of live theatre/music, or a film on the big screen.

I despair of what people have become. Grown adults with the attention span of a goldfish, who can’t be without their mobiles for a couple of hours.

The other night I was at a concert and found myself distracted by someone sitting in front of me rummaging for her phone, then turning it on, then trying to find the camera on it, then making several clumsy attempts at photographing the singer on stage. She spent so long doing all this, she missed an entire song. The light from her phone glared out, she clearly had no regard for anyone around her, or any respect for the artist she’d presumably paid to see.

And the photos she took were rubbish - I know this because, frustratingly, I couldn’t avoid them, as she waved her phone around in front of me. I kept willing her to put the wretched thing away, but she continued to take terrible, blurred photos and show them to the person next to her, completely ignoring chunks of the concert. Then I noticed someone two rows down scrolling through social media on her phone.

These weren’t teenagers - they were middle-aged women. And I’m sorry, but their manners were appalling. Within an audience there’s an unspoken etiquette that you should be aware of those around you. You’re not the only person in the auditorium. But there’s something about a mobile phone that locks people into another world, making them blissfully unaware of anyone else around them.

I know it’s commonplace to film concerts now, and I’ve nothing against the occasional bit of filming or quick photo, but some audience members have their phones out the whole time, and it’s an annoying distraction. People have become so obsessed with documenting the moment that they end up missing out on actually experiencing it.

The world we live in has become what sci-fi B-movies predicted half a century ago: people have become de-humanised and enslaved by their gadgets.

We just can’t switch off, not even on holiday. A survey of 1,000 adults has revealed that the average Brit travels with at least three digital gadgets in their luggage. And one in five, according to the UK Gadget Usage Report (what else?), takes at least five items of tech on holiday - those most commonly used are smart phones, iPads or tablets, Kindles and laptops. Battery packs are also becoming a holiday must-have.

I own up to taking my phone on holiday, but I use it as little as possible while I’m away. For me, a holiday is about ‘logging off’ from everyday life. I like to read on hols, but I don’t use Kindles because I love books.

Some parents would argue that they take gadgets on holiday to keep the children occupied, but surely youngsters spend enough time in front of screens. Shouldn’t a family vacation be about stepping away from the tablet and spending time together?

So many holiday snaps are posted onto Facebook that I wonder how much of this time people spend without a phone in their hand. And let’s face it, most people’s holiday pictures are pretty dull to everyone else. The same goes for the tedious photos that daft woman was taking at the concert the other night.

Life is what happens when you’re busy on your phone.

* TAKING a nap can be blissful - but it tends to be a guilty pleasure.

Yet it seems naps can boost productivity. Breaking up the working day with short naps is linked to improved thinking - making the brain perform as though it was 'five years younger'. Regular nappers are more focussed and creative, and big companies such as Ben & Jerry's and Google even have dedicated nap spaces. Hmm.

I don't think it's for me. Since I'm more of a drooling old lady napper than a sharp-suited power napper, my snoozing is probably best left to the sofa at home, with a cold cup of tea by my side.

* HAVING spent a year trying to sell a house, I've reached the conclusion that 50per cent of viewers are time wasters.

I recently showed a couple round, after a long day at work when I could've really done without strangers poking around my home, and after a good half-hour they announced that they weren't even planning on moving house. "I just like looking at Rightmove. I'm nosy, aren't I love?" said the wife. I could've thrown them both through the window.

Another woman said she didn't like the area. "Why book a viewing here then?" I didn't ask. Then there are those who don't turn up, or arrive late with no apology. And those who say they really want it, then pull out at the 11th hour.

House-selling would be much less stressful if people weren't involved.