Sunday, July 10, 2011

I am Addicted to my Smart Phone

I admit it.  I am addicted.  I am addicted to my smart phone.

My addiction started when I bought a HTC Sensation 4G smart phone from T-Mobile a week ago last Thursday.  I have been wanting a smart phone for a long time, but I did not buy one because I had higher priorities (like eating).  My old cell phone was a flip phone with two basic functions that I used, making and receiving phone calls and texting (to a small extent).  This phone was really all I needed in a phone.  I dropped my land line over two years ago, and my cell phone kept me in contact with people everywhere I went.  The problem was my old cell phone was starting to have issues.  It started to miss phone calls even though the phone was right next to me.  My phone would still tell me that I had received a voice message from the person who just tried to call me.  Also, my phone started not to match the person's name with the phone number even though that person was in in my contact list.

The problems with my old cell phone was an excuse, a very valid excuse, for me to buy a smart phone.  I had heard and read all about the things smart phones can do.  I felt like I was missing out on something, that I was behind the times.  I saw people engaged with their smart phones ( they were smart phones, not cell phones, because they were not talking on their phones), and I wanted to be doing the same thing because everyone was doing it.  I did not want to miss out on the experience they were having.  It must be a good experience because they would keep doing whatever they were doing on their smart phones.  They would be oblivious to what was going on around them even though they were with other people.  They were enjoying themselves.  They might not be talking to anyone near them, but they were certainly connected to other people in other places, even to people around the world.  They did not have to be at home to do this, nor did they have to bring their laptop with them.  They just had to bring a small device that fits into a pocket or small purse, and they can be connected to almost anyone.  How cool is that?

My salesperson at the T-Mobile store at the Dulles Town Center did not have any trouble selling this phone to me.  You can see why.  However, I now realize I have a problem with this new phone.  I take this phone everywhere.  I not only do that (I did that with my old phone), but I doing something with it all the time.  Part of that is the time I am taking to learn how to use the phone.  There are so many functions, apps, and widgets on that phone.  I have also installed some apps and widgets.  I can now check my email on this phone.  I access Facebook and Twitter.  I look at videos on YouTube.  I check my bank balance.  I check the standings of golf tournaments.  I check the weather forecast.  I use the GPS function to help me get somewhere.   I do some of these things even when I go to bed (not the GPS part, obviously)..

I now feel like I know something about drug addition.  Being addicted to my cell phone is not the same as being addicted to drugs.  I am not physically addicted to the phone.  I may be mentally addicted to my phone though.  I feel better mentally when I am doing something on my phone.  It is so much fun.  Of course, drug addiction may have a mental component to it as well.  Drugs can make you feel better, too.  Hopefully, I will not have to go to some organization like AA to get over my addiction.  Hopefully, I will get over the newness and excitement of this new toy.  I do worry about some people who really do seem to be addicted to their phones or other electronic devices.  Being engaged with their device seems to be all they do.  I hope this is not creating a society where there is no personal social connection, and all connections are via electronic devices.  That is not a society I want to live in.

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