The confessions of a Technomaniac

1 Sep

My Iphone and I share a relationship which would be considered by some Medical professionals as borderline obsessive. Hello my name is Claire Cresswell and I am a technomaniac. My Iphone is much more than a communication device; it is my security blanket, my fashion guru, my bff. My Iphone gets me out of awkward situations; it entertains me when bored, it tells me if I can afford that dress and it gives me the security to verbalise my opinions; I feel more confident as my digitally-enhanced self.

In our BCM240 lecture, we were informed that this dependency towards our technological devices is a concern to society and that this contingent relationship is not just unhealthy, but could cause our demise. Bayer & Campbell (2012, p2084) evaluate mobile phones as an ‘ingrained element within society and are almost always at arm’s reach’. We are governed by a behaviour or habit to check our messages, ‘reacting to these cues becomes automatized to the point that the actor may do so without even meaning to do it (Oulasvirta et al. 2012). Society has morphed into a zombie –like existence in which our mobiles/iPods dictate our moods but not our actions. Text-driving for example, is a well-documented phenomenon which ‘places lives not just in the hands of the driver, but in the fingers’ (Bayer & Campbell 2012, pg 1). We are aware of the consequences of the act (police fine, injury, death) but not responsible enough to break the habit.

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Texting doesn’t kill, it does not cause moral panic across the public sphere, it is the operator’s poor choices that come into play. Maybe it is time, we made better decisions and occasionally participated in a technological detox, a deliberate and regular unplugging can help us rediscover a more humane rhythm for our lives’ (McLuhan 2010).

From the words of my favorite singer, Passenger, ‘And we all had new IPhones but no one had no one to call’ (Song Title Year). Unfortunately, we are on our phones a lot of the time, this digital connection is ruining our chance of face-to face contacts, building social relationships and enjoying our immediate surroundings.

I believe technology and my Iphone are paramount in my survival of Uni life, but maybe my Iphone can sit in the boot when I drive and in my bag when I network.

I will finish with a question…Are we being anti social by not concentrating on the conversation in front of our faces or ignoring the person texting on our phone?

 

 

Bayer, JB & Campbell, SW 2012, ‘Texting while driving on automatic: Considering the frequency-independent side of habit’, Computers in Human Behaviour’, 28, 2083-2090

Maierbrugger, A 2010, ‘Beware of iPod zombies’, image, accessed 12th September 2013, <http://gulfnews.com/business/technology/beware-of-ipod-zombies-1.679558>

McLuhan, M 2010, ‘Technology Sabbaths and Other Strategies for the Digitized World’, The Frailest Thing, accessed 12th September 2013, <

http://thefrailestthing.com/2010/08/05/technology-sabbaths-and-other-strategies-for-keeping-our-humanity-intact/>

Oulasvirta, A, Ratenbury, T, MA, L, & Raita, E 2012, ‘Habits make smartphone use more pervasive’, Personal Ubiquitous Computing, 16 (1), 105-114

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