Why I am addicted to mobile tech

Why I am addicted to mobile tech

Summary: My name is James, and I am addicted to mobile technology. The thought of doing without my smartphone, tablet, notebook, and tablet for more than a short period makes me break out in a cold sweat. I admit my addiction readily, but you may not know the reason behind it.

My mobile arsenal

I don't try to hide my affection, or rather my addiction to small shiny things that go beep. Covering mobile tech and the gadgets behind it for a decade have made my affliction clear to anyone following my work. My addiction is deep-seated, the thought of going without my mobile gadgets makes me feel uneasy. 

I am not alone; the growth of the mobile industry is proof of that. The staggering sales of the latest smartphones, tablets, and notebooks shows that millions are now welcoming mobile technology into the very core of their lives. 

Using and enjoying technology does not an addiction make, it's the reaction to doing without it that defines the condition. If you, like me, get very nervous when cut off from your mobile gear then most likely you are addicted, too.

My addiction is not a product of the reasons most people associate with such a condition. Sure, I like being always connected, having instant access to people far and wide, and being able to put my finger on that nugget of information I need without hesitation.

No, my addiction stems much deeper than the common reasons. I am enamored with mobile tech because I remember what it was like before it existed. 

I remember when there were not only no smartphones, but no mobile phones at all. When you needed to find out something from a friend or coworker you had to wait until you got back to the office or home to call them. If you were lucky they were also at a phone where you could reach them. Otherwise you waited for the information you needed, sometimes even until the next day.

This was back before Al Gore invented the Internet, the source of instant information and communication. When I needed to learn something I went to the library like everyone else. I searched for hours through the sources of information of the time, looking for that one piece of information I needed. It didn't matter that those references were years old by the time they were printed. They were the primary source of available information.

For any information more current, there was the daily newspaper. Those used to be printed every day on real paper, and got your hands all smudgy when you read them. They kept us informed, at least on a daily basis, and we craved the information they provided. No matter that they were no more accurate in the end than similar sources today, they were what we had and we trusted them implicitly.

This is why I am still in wonder over the amount of information that mobile technology puts at my fingertips today. There is no end to the information at my beck and call, from smartphone to tablet. If I need to know, I can find out without hesitation or lost time searching. It is mind-boggling.

Now you know the source of my addiction to mobile tech. My constant thirst for information is thoroughly abated by the mobile technology in my pocket. There is nothing I can't find out when the hankering hits me, and it is liberating.

Because I remember how things were before this technology existed, I am fine with admitting my addiction to it today. While taking a holiday from mobile tech occassionally is a good thing, I am fine with my dependence on it. I embrace it, enjoy it, and will continue to use it until the last battery dies.


Topics: Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • It's kind of funny, but in my experience...

    Techies (and by techies, I just mean limited to my college's Computer Science and Engineering departments) aren't really that enamored with mobile tech beyond the laptop. I know I personally bought an iPad, used it for about two months and then gave it to my father (who incidentally, never gets off the thing). Later on, I bought a Kindle Fire to much the same effect, while my sister, an artsy type, got a shiny new iPad and hasn't gone anywhere without it. My mother who's afraid to turn a computer on is glued to her smartphone. Most of the people I know from school would much rather have a laptop (or even a desktop) to do most of their browsing. I know I definitely find myself in that category. I constantly find myself frustrated with the lack of finesse that touchscreen manipulation offers, to the point where I often just throw them in the corner for months at a time.
    • What your discussion demonstrates . . .

      is that people use tech in difference ways and so one piece of tech cannot suit all users. That is why I, and my others, find fanboi-ism so inanely stupid!
  • Are you on the waiting list for Google's Glass device?

    The need to stay connected. It is a powerful human need.

    I recall reading (a long time ago) about a type of human sickness or severe depression experienced by some Chinese nationals that came from over-populated urban centers and were forced to travel into the Chinese mainland interior. They went days without coming into contact with another soul. They literally became deathly ill because of that lack of human connectivity even though they had plenty of food and available shelter.

    I wonder just how long it will take before Arthur C. Clark's vision of humanity outfitted with electronic "brain caps" enabling 24/7 connectivity and a virtual reality enhanced environment?
    • Yin and yang

      Solitude is also a powerful human need. A walk in the woods or on the beach. A weekend, or longer, in the country. Either alone or with one's partner, family or friends.

      I can't imagine that being connected continuously is good for the body or soul. Hopefully, James is responsible with this mobile devices while driving a car. And, hopefully, James does not sit at the dinner table with his smartphone on one side of the plate and tablet of choice on the other side.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • I'm a creator, not a consumer

    I need a keyboard and enough processing power to do fairly sophisticated video editing. I work on a keyboard + monitor many hours every week. The rest of the time I can do without.
    • Just out of curiosity, Mac or PC for video editing?

      I'm betting you use PC and PC software for your editing work. If you used a Mac, you would also have an iPad or an iPhone for your mobile needs and content consumption.

      Hey .. I have a 50-50 chance of guessing correctly. Or not .. If the Amiga platform with it's famous accessory, NewTek's Video Toaster had survived and evolved, there would be a third video editing option to consider.
      • [on my knees, retching]

        kenosha77a wrote:
        "If you used a Mac, you would also have an iPad or an iPhone for your mobile needs and content consumption.

        Just a bit strong for my taste. Surely, you don't believe that there aren't any OS X users that have chosen Android or anything else non-Apple for their mobile needs and content consumption.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Yeah well

    It is called sensory overload and it can affect you more than you think!
  • And you've had a contagious effect....

    Cuz I am also an addict, also because I remember life without mobile tech (my first piece of tech was a Radio Shack TRS-80 PC-2)... but my addiction kicked into gear once I started reading an old blog called JKontheRun :-)
  • I remember

    Some 10 years ago I moved from upstate New York to Maryland. I bought a pair of walkie talkies so my wife and I could keep in touch on the road. Seems so quaint now. A couple of years later we bought cellphones, and a year an a half ago we finally got around to buying smartphones. Yeah, we're near the end of the middle-of-the-pack when it comes to adopting mobile tech, but none of what I have described was unheard of at the time. How things have changed. Today it would be far more shocking to learn that a friend has a landline but no cellphone than the converse.

    And now, of course, I'm a junkie, with a 4.3" Android smartphone, a 7" android tablet and a 10" Android tablet. I would sooner leave home without my underwear than my Evo.
  • RE: I use tech to be not always connected then to catch up when I am ready

    I am a 100% mobile luddite but I am addicted to timeshifting. I lose a lot of stuff and smaller and smaller mobile makes this proposition too expensive so I am one of the 1% that do with out. My work requires that I get home after the game so I do everyday what NBC gets screamed at for every Olympic season "plausaby live" . I know I am addicted to timeshifting because I do it on the weekends when there is no need (It's 4PM Sunday I just finished watching last nights NBC coverage). Besides DVR I use youtube and google or newspper websites to catch up. I love not bieng bothered on a nice day but I have to admit people watching is is a dimished experience ecause everybody is on thier device.
  • Ditto

    Your reasoning reflects well with my reasoning for my mobile addiction. I never owned a cell phone before even 2004 when they had already rapidly become popular. But once I got one, I only had a feature phone for a couple years before going balls deep into smartphones. I've never looked back since. What mobile devices enable me to do compared to my intern days in the early 2000's when I had few resources at my fingertips without having to pound the pavement still takes my breath away. It isn't about updating social networks are owning a device that is more a status symbol than what it truly is. It's about the tool. The smartphone is undisputed in being one of the citizens' strongest personal tools. We take for granted that there are even multiple mobile operating systems to bitch about. Just being able to have anything in the realm is a privilege. I welcome all mobile OS's, so long as they drive for improvement to the overall idea of the smartphone. There is no more a valuable portable technological tool for the individual than the smartphone.