Author Topic: Society's obsession with mobile phones  (Read 33918 times)

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #150 on: August 05, 2015, 11:39:27 AM »
I absolutely use my phone dozens of times per day to help me run my life.  Here is how with the app in parenthesis.  Some of these things could be done using other technology, some are smart phone specific.  I'm not including the obvious internet surfing, instant messaging, listening to music, calendar reminders, mobile phone book etc.  I also didn't include games or sites I follow to screw off like The Chive.  I came up w/ 33 34.  I won't use everyone everyday but I would say at least 20 I use daily.

Financial:
1.) Transferred money between accounts (ING)
2.) Checked balances of all accounts (Mint)
3.) Checked to see if mortgage payment came out (TD)
ETA: Deposit checks!
Health:
4.) Checked a message from my doctor.
5.) Scheduled a doctor's appt (medical app)
6.) Made an FSA claim (FSA app)
7.) Refilled a rx (Rite Aid app)
Shopping:
8.) Activated rebates/coupons before grocery shopping (Ibotta)
9.) Used a discount card at a store (Key Ring)
10.) Compared prices on something I was about to buy (Shop Savvy)
11.) Compared prices after buying said item and saved receipt in case I needed to return (Walmart app)
Exercise:
12.) Checked my heart rate while working out (heart rate app)
13.) Raised money for charity while working out (Charity Miles)
14.) Sent my husband an alert that showed where I was biking in real time and would alert him if I stopped moving for 5 or more minutes (Road ID)
15.) Tracked my speed and elevation (Map My Ride)
16.) Meditated or hypnosis (variety of apps)
Work:
17.) Stayed in touch with clients without giving out my real number (Google Voice)
18.) Shared a file too large to email (dropbox)
19.) Scanned a document (Tiny Scan)
20.) Researched case law (Lexis Advanced)
21.) Tracked my billable hours (Hours Tracker)
22.) Dictated a long email (Dragon dictation)
23.) Maintain all of my passwords for a zillion work accounts (secret saver)
24.) Found a route around an accident and still made it to court on time (Waze)
25.) Found the nearest bathroom on the road (iExit)
26.) Found a place I could buy a gluten free lunch (Find me GF)
27.) Used white noise and headphones to concentrate (white noise app)
Entertainment:
25.) Found a reservation (open table)
26.) Identified a song that was playing (Shazam)
27.) Used as a pitch pipe prior to singing
28.) Stored articles I wanted to read later (pocket)
Safety: (in addition to stuff already covered)
29.) Could check the radar before I bike ride and see how far away that storm actually was (my radar)
30.) Got an emergency weather alert that prompted the radar check (my radar)
31.) Can access the local radio stations and police scanners in an emergency and did during the Boston bombing (Tune in Radio and I forget the police one at the moment)
32.) Can check which sensor on my home alarm went off and decide whether I should send the police or the cat was just being an idiot again. (simplisafe)
33.) Can access every picture ever taken both with good cameras or the phone (shutterfly)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 11:45:36 AM by Blonde Lawyer »

morning owl

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #151 on: August 05, 2015, 12:02:01 PM »
Yep,  Smart phones make the user feel smart and fast.    Don't get me wrong.  I have and like my smart phone.  It however is not a need but a cool toy.   
That sums up my thoughts. 
But we're not going to turn into a generation of degenerates because of phones.  Sure, we "need" human interaction, but most people are getting enough of that anyways.  Checking my phone while in line for the super market instead of being subjected to pointless small talk from the person behind me in line is not going to kill me.  Smart phones definitely aren't necessary and I applaud those who go without them, but calling those with them anti-social or equating everyone to some irresponsible teenager who killed a guy riding a death machine is silly.
Human interaction is a need -- not something to set apart in quotes to make it sound silly.  In the years I've been teaching, I've seen my students' social skills go downhill.  I've seen bullying increase.  I've seen anxiety increase.  In part, this is caused by the decrease in face-to-face communication and the increase in social media (of course, social media exists outside the phone world, but now that every teen has a smart phone in hand, it's taken on new proportions -- I could give some nasty examples about people bullying one another from math class).  Of course other things are involved; for example, reality TV in which people treat one another horribly.  We as a society are treating one another more coarsely than we used to -- and social media and phones are leading the charge in that societal bad habit. 

You're the one who brought up the word "anti-social", and I didn't say that everyone using a phone is irresponsible (though I do think everyone using a phone behind the wheel fits that bill). 
Well, my phone is certainly the first thing I look at in the morning.  So what of it?  Why should that bother you?  Who is being harmed? 
The commercial struck me as ridiculous:  Why would you rush to your phone in the mornings?  If you have to go to your phone first thing every morning, if you're not comfortable when you don't have it, if you feel compelled to check it constantly ... it's a sign of obsession, of addiction.  YOU are the one being harmed, and if a large part of our society is addicted to technology, addicted to being connected, it should concern us all.  If you can't see it, you're blinding yourself. 

If you're genuinely addicted to a phone -- and I think a lot of people are --then it's not a simple tool.  It owns you.

Very well said. I agree 100% with all of this.

Yes smart phones, iPads, etc are useful, but at what cost? I don't mean dollar cost, but social cost.

I'm at an age where I remember life before smart technology. Most people I know, myself included, are addicted to their phones and tablets. Nobody knows how to be bored anymore, to use imagination when they don't have Wikipedia at their fingertips, or communicate while looking someone in the eye. I sometimes fear for the generations who don't know what life is like without this constant connection to entertainment and eye candy. Something gets lost in a world like that.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #152 on: August 05, 2015, 12:06:48 PM »
Yep,  Smart phones make the user feel smart and fast.    Don't get me wrong.  I have and like my smart phone.  It however is not a need but a cool toy.   
That sums up my thoughts. 
But we're not going to turn into a generation of degenerates because of phones.  Sure, we "need" human interaction, but most people are getting enough of that anyways.  Checking my phone while in line for the super market instead of being subjected to pointless small talk from the person behind me in line is not going to kill me.  Smart phones definitely aren't necessary and I applaud those who go without them, but calling those with them anti-social or equating everyone to some irresponsible teenager who killed a guy riding a death machine is silly.
Human interaction is a need -- not something to set apart in quotes to make it sound silly.  In the years I've been teaching, I've seen my students' social skills go downhill.  I've seen bullying increase.  I've seen anxiety increase.  In part, this is caused by the decrease in face-to-face communication and the increase in social media (of course, social media exists outside the phone world, but now that every teen has a smart phone in hand, it's taken on new proportions -- I could give some nasty examples about people bullying one another from math class).  Of course other things are involved; for example, reality TV in which people treat one another horribly.  We as a society are treating one another more coarsely than we used to -- and social media and phones are leading the charge in that societal bad habit. 

You're the one who brought up the word "anti-social", and I didn't say that everyone using a phone is irresponsible (though I do think everyone using a phone behind the wheel fits that bill). 
Well, my phone is certainly the first thing I look at in the morning.  So what of it?  Why should that bother you?  Who is being harmed? 
The commercial struck me as ridiculous:  Why would you rush to your phone in the mornings?  If you have to go to your phone first thing every morning, if you're not comfortable when you don't have it, if you feel compelled to check it constantly ... it's a sign of obsession, of addiction.  YOU are the one being harmed, and if a large part of our society is addicted to technology, addicted to being connected, it should concern us all.  If you can't see it, you're blinding yourself. 

If you're genuinely addicted to a phone -- and I think a lot of people are --then it's not a simple tool.  It owns you.

Very well said. I agree 100% with all of this.

Yes smart phones, iPads, etc are useful, but at what cost? I don't mean dollar cost, but social cost.

I'm at an age where I remember life before smart technology. Most people I know, myself included, are addicted to their phones and tablets. Nobody knows how to be bored anymore, to use imagination when they don't have Wikipedia at their fingertips, or communicate while looking someone in the eye. I sometimes fear for the generations who don't know what life is like without this constant connection to entertainment and eye candy. Something gets lost in a world like that.

There are studies that we are losing the part of our memories that handle quick recall.  We don't use that anymore because we have the info at our fingertips.  I do find myself struggling to recall names and dates more than in the past.

MoonShadow

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #153 on: August 05, 2015, 12:18:12 PM »

There are studies that we are losing the part of our memories that handle quick recall.  We don't use that anymore because we have the info at our fingertips.  I do find myself struggling to recall names and dates more than in the past.

That isn't really a question of losing something.  The human brain is adaptable.  If the short term recall is less necessary, the human brain uses that grey matter to another purpose.  We all become smarter as we are augmented by our technology.  When I was a kid, my dad would tell me well crafted lies.  In order to call him on them, I'd have to go to great efforts of research; often involving a trip to the local branch library, and occasionally even to the main branch.  Today, my kids call BS on me in under a minute, because they have google wherever they are.  This is not a form of collective memory loss, it's a net social benefit; but we can never go back either.

Rollin

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #154 on: August 05, 2015, 12:21:06 PM »
Damned if I know?    Of course I come from medieval times when my smart phone was on a 3 foot cord,  came with a rotary dial and was a party line.  In college we upgraded to a pay phone for 30 residents at 50 cents per local call and $3 per minute long distance.  There was never a line.   My kids are the opposite.  They can't wipe their asses without a cell phone. 

One of my nieces thought she was uber cool when she had her cell phone at the amusement park in a water proof thingy.  "Look" says the 15 year old,  "I can use my phone on the water rides."    Sure we did spend maybe 8 minutes on the water rides that day.  Probably a good $12 investment for her. lol    I genuinely felt sorry for her.  I genuinely feel sorry for all the young adults I see with the $140 a month plans and $700 phones.  If only they knew what that $140 a month would compound to in just 20 years.  So yeah,  insecurity and neediness comes to mind. 

I tell teenagers  -- "you know how to tell if an incoming call is unimportant?"   The say "no."   I say "its coming to you." 

I show people my $10 per month,  $100 Republic phone.   They are unimpressed.   "but you don't have internet all the time.  what if I need to look something up?"   Hmmm,  I donna know?  Call someone with a cell phone and ask them whatever dumbass question you need answered in such a big hurry.

I can tell you that in the many months of text and talk only (plus wifi internet)  it has not been a hindrance.  Even went to Mexico for a week without turning the phone on.   Wife either. 

Oh, yeah and then,  a couple of years ago I flat out went without a pocket phone or landline for 4-5 months.   nadda.   Life went on just fine. 

Now my employer pays me $25 to offset cell phone usage.  Score -- I pay $13.    Yeah,  I'm just a dumbass old fuddy duddy.

Bob W - I think like you!  But I bet you meant that your wife never turned her phone on during the Mexico trip, not that you never turned her on!  (Sorry, I couldn't resist).  You probably had an awesome (and greatly physical) time!!

justajane

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #155 on: August 05, 2015, 12:23:15 PM »
Quiet reflection is very hard to do in the smart phone/easy internet age. Earlier this year a friend was late for coffee. I already had my drink at the table, and it was hard for me to fill the time with my own thoughts. Plus I felt very strange being in public without a phone or e-reader to distract me while I waited. It was a good lesson for me, because twenty years ago, I would have had no problem sitting on a bench or at a cafe and just thinking deep thoughts. Hell, I used to journal and do other things. Sure, part of that was a function of being young and idealistic. Now I'm middle aged and have kids, but I also think it was because I didn't have the internet at my fingertips.

So at the coffee shop I ended up staring out the window while I waited. Across the street was a beautiful stone church with a vast lawn in front covered in snow. I felt bad, because most of my life these days is spent in distraction and I missed the person I was early in my life when I noticed and appreciated these things. I don't think technology is the sole cause of this shift in my life, but it certainly doesn't help.

Another anecdote regarding addiction: The 16 year old daughter of our neighbor had ordered a new battery for her phone, since the current one was failing. But she hadn't installed it yet, because she had to charge the phone and not use it for 24 hours and she couldn't fathom living without her phone for 24 hours.

morning owl

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #156 on: August 05, 2015, 12:59:57 PM »
This is not a form of collective memory loss, it's a net social benefit; but we can never go back either.

The jury's still out on that. There have been studies done linking screentime to ADHD. It's also fairly common sense -- if people can't ever get used to being bored or using their basic short term memory, or imagination, they won't know what to do with themselves without a little screen in front of them at all times.

When I was a kid (not that long ago! I am Gen X) I had strict limits on how much TV I could watch -- about 1/2 hour a day, and 1 hr on weekends. I whined and complained and was bored a lot but I figured out how to entertain myself. I read, I invented games, I built forts, I hung out in the park or backyard and daydreamed. On the rare occasion when I was allowed to watch TV to my heart's content, such as times when I was sick and staying home from school on the couch, I felt like a lump of clay after. There was a reason my parents set those limits. Gorging on mindless entertainment (which was what I wanted to do) is really bad for me, as a child, or now as an adult. Addictive things often have this quality -- they're attractive to the user yet not necessarily helping their overall well-being. People sometimes lose control over this, and lose sight of the down side of what they're doing.

Nowadays lots of kids (generally speaking) don't have such strict limits with TV or internet screen time. They have a portable device that's with them at all times for whatever they want to do. It provides structured and unstructured entertainment at their fingertips. It's far too early to tell what the results of this experiment are. I don't believe there will be a net benefit, but rather varying levels of good and bad. Eventually parents will perhaps limit the screentime for their kids, once the effects are fully known and studied.

Personally I notice that for myself my attention span is way lower than it used to be. Sitting down and reading a book for hours, which I used to do without a problem, is much more difficult now. Like justajane, I'm finding awkward moments when out in public and not looking at my portable device, for fear of appearing somehow idle when I'm alone. It's a weird feeling. I'm sure I only notice it because my generation has straddled these two times, and can notice the obsession / addiction as it's unfolding.

Like Plato's cave (if you've read the ERE book), once something is ubiquitous we fail to see it objectively anymore. Net loss or net gain, I'd like to be cautious of anything in my life that becomes so addictive and central to living that I can't imagine living without it. For me, such things (aside from food and air, obviously) are dangerous. No human technology or form of communication should, IMO, have that kind of power over my day to day activities.


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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #157 on: August 05, 2015, 01:18:21 PM »
Quote
There are studies that we are losing the part of our memories that handle quick recall.  We don't use that anymore because we have the info at our fingertips.  I do find myself struggling to recall names and dates more than in the past.

Studies also say that we have lost brain mass relative to body weight compared to when we were hunter gatherers.  Do you think we should also stop farming?

morning owl

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #158 on: August 05, 2015, 01:24:05 PM »
Quote
There are studies that we are losing the part of our memories that handle quick recall.  We don't use that anymore because we have the info at our fingertips.  I do find myself struggling to recall names and dates more than in the past.

Studies also say that we have lost brain mass relative to body weight compared to when we were hunter gatherers.  Do you think we should also stop farming?

No, I don't think we should stop farming, and I'm not sure where I implied that. I don't see what that has to do with screen use or phone addiction.

I'm simply posting about a study that I find interesting. No need to be snarky about it. If you want to ignore the study, be my guest.

golden1

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #159 on: August 05, 2015, 01:33:38 PM »
If you are not using a smartphone to do certain things, you are probably wasting time that could be spent doing other things.  If you don't think your time is worth the cost of a smartphone, then that is your choice.  Just don't act superior about it - it's nonsensical. 

This thread is hysterical.  There is such a failure of imagination here. 

The word "smartphone" could be replaced with "home computer' - "Why bother having one of those when I could add columns of numbers up using a calculator like I always have?" 
Calculator - "Why bother having a calculator when I could add things up using a slide rule like I always have?" 
Freezer - "Why should I have a freezer when I could just use my old icebox?"
Electricity - "My old oil lamps worked just fine!"
At a certain point, the benefits of a certain technology are just obviously superior to things that it replaces.  Smartphones are at that place. 

My husband used to be the same way.  He owned a flip phone for years and never understood the point of a smartphone.  He thought I was wasting my money.  Then I bought a new one and gave him my old one.  Once he realized the time and effort it saved him for certain tasks plus the enhanced capabilities he has with it, he got it. 

golden1

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #160 on: August 05, 2015, 01:41:13 PM »
I wasn't being snarky at all - I was asking an honest question. 

Our bodies lose and gain capability based on the tools we use to supplement our lives.  Apparently, hunter gatherers in the paleolithic area had larger brain cavities - one hypothesis is that it was because they had to have all of that information available to survive in their dangerous environment.  What plants are poisonous and which can I eat?  What animals do I have to be wary of etc....

Just because our abilities change due to technology doesn't necessarily mean that we should shun the technology. 

justajane

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #161 on: August 05, 2015, 01:42:34 PM »
morning owl - I love the way your brain works. Your reference to Plato's cave definitely gave me something to think about.

I don't think this thread is "hysterical", as golden1 so blithely dismisses it or a "failure of imagination." I'm okay with being the one who makes people chuckle, because it means I'm actually analyzing cultural and technological trends rather than just submitting to them. And the claims about being superior seem more like projection than anything else. I don't think I am superior to anyone for not having a smart phone; rather, I recognize my own inherent weaknesses and choose not purchase a device that would distract me even more. 

One thing that really brings me down to earth is when we have a power outage or the internet at home is down. The panic that I feel inside of me is a sign of how reliant I have become on technology. And this reliance is not just practical; it's mental. In many respects, I've lost the art of entertaining my mind for long periods of time. Some people might see this as a natural progression; I see it as a distinct loss.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 01:44:41 PM by justajane »

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #162 on: August 05, 2015, 02:32:58 PM »

One thing that really brings me down to earth is when we have a power outage or the internet at home is down. The panic that I feel inside of me is a sign of how reliant I have become on technology. And this reliance is not just practical; it's mental. In many respects, I've lost the art of entertaining my mind for long periods of time. Some people might see this as a natural progression; I see it as a distinct loss.

Oh man can I relate.  Within about ten minutes, my husband is watching movies on his laptop or ipad until the battery dies.  We are also guilty of turning on his mobile hotspot (paid for by his work that we are permitted to use for personal use) and using the internet for awhile.  We do try to conserve that so we could access the internet for emergency updates on the situation.  We charge everything up pre-storm about between our various laptops, cell phones, and tablets (3/4ths of which are work provided) we get about 2-3 days worth of entertainment before all batteries die.  We have a car adapter we can charge back up w/ as well as a hand crank one as part of an emergency radio.

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #163 on: August 05, 2015, 02:37:36 PM »
If you are not using a smartphone to do certain things, you are probably wasting time that could be spent doing other things.  If you don't think your time is worth the cost of a smartphone, then that is your choice.  Just don't act superior about it - it's nonsensical. 

This thread is hysterical.  There is such a failure of imagination here. 

The word "smartphone" could be replaced with "home computer' - "Why bother having one of those when I could add columns of numbers up using a calculator like I always have?" 
Calculator - "Why bother having a calculator when I could add things up using a slide rule like I always have?" 
Freezer - "Why should I have a freezer when I could just use my old icebox?"
Electricity - "My old oil lamps worked just fine!"
At a certain point, the benefits of a certain technology are just obviously superior to things that it replaces.  Smartphones are at that place. 

My husband used to be the same way.  He owned a flip phone for years and never understood the point of a smartphone.  He thought I was wasting my money.  Then I bought a new one and gave him my old one.  Once he realized the time and effort it saved him for certain tasks plus the enhanced capabilities he has with it, he got it.

I got a smart phone for free and I don't care for it at all. The only thing that it has done is take up more space in my pocket!

And this whole thread was started me, with my experience of someone acting superior because they had a smartphone and I didn't at the time!

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #164 on: August 05, 2015, 07:24:57 PM »
In my phone, I hold the keys to the city. Any city. Every city. I have access to every private business, and every public area. In one device, I have the map to get to the state park on a whim in a new town, and the camera to remember the adventure. At any point along the way, I can invite friends along, or looks up something interesting I passed by change that I want to learn more about. I can get discounts at one store by comparison shopping at another, or see if an item is worth picking up to flip at a thrift store. I can eliminate space by having every cookbook, piece of fiction, or investment tome worth owning parsed down to the space of a few cubic inches. I have an alarm clock, music player, bank, flashlight, level, weather monitor, card holder, and grocery list organizer all rolled into one.

It's especially useful as a GPS and gas and food finder when getting lost on the bike around the state.

How much money have I saved over not having to purchase all these separate things? Even with the cheapest plan of $5 from Republic Wireless, probably none at all. Yet the ROI is sky-high for convenience and the need for fewer accessories. So then, how many resources are saved by people only needing to buy one device instead of a dozen different ones? A smartphone is the ultimate multitasker.

Like anything else in life, people seem to find moderation difficult. But hey, live and let live. Society is obsessed with a lot of silly things. That's what happens when you have the leisure time to afford to find something to keep yourself occupied. Smartphones, gadgets, tabloids, shopping, celebrity gossip, cars, binging Netflix, games, pick your poison.

I'm just sick and tired of nearly being hit by people paying more attention to their phones than the road.

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #165 on: August 06, 2015, 12:40:13 AM »
I get ridiculed for having a cell phone that does no texting or internet, just calling. I always tell people "Why should I pay 5$ more per month on texting when I can still communicate with people verbally on my phone?"...I get answers like "But it's only 5$ per month" in which I reply "well if you are interested in losing 5$ a month, drive on the highway once a month, open your window and let your 5$ fly away, afterall it's only 5$ like you said.". I understand 5$ is not alot of money, but why spend it on something that you can do verbally?

These days it is more likely you are wasting $20 on calling features when you could text for under$10...

Lots of people don't answer phones, check messages or leave them..they text instead.

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #166 on: August 06, 2015, 05:32:41 AM »
I get ridiculed for having a cell phone that does no texting or internet, just calling. I always tell people "Why should I pay 5$ more per month on texting when I can still communicate with people verbally on my phone?"...I get answers like "But it's only 5$ per month" in which I reply "well if you are interested in losing 5$ a month, drive on the highway once a month, open your window and let your 5$ fly away, afterall it's only 5$ like you said.". I understand 5$ is not alot of money, but why spend it on something that you can do verbally?

These days it is more likely you are wasting $20 on calling features when you could text for under$10...

Lots of people don't answer phones, check messages or leave them..they text instead.
Like you said, lots of people don't answer phones, I do. It all depends on each individual's situation. In my case, a simple phone call is enough, spending the extra 5$ for unlimited texting would be a waste of money in my case. That's why to me it feels like I am just throwing 5$ away. Each to their own I guess, but I wouldn't pay extra just to text, call me old school.

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #167 on: August 06, 2015, 06:46:25 AM »
Like you said, lots of people don't answer phones, I do. It all depends on each individual's situation. In my case, a simple phone call is enough, spending the extra 5$ for unlimited texting would be a waste of money in my case. That's why to me it feels like I am just throwing 5$ away. Each to their own I guess, but I wouldn't pay extra just to text, call me old school.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that might be generational. I keep the calling functionality on my phone solely because my mom, my dad, and my in-laws don't text. My brother, my sister, my busband, my friends my age? Text-only. It's a really clear divide.

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #168 on: August 06, 2015, 08:05:24 AM »
Like you said, lots of people don't answer phones, I do. It all depends on each individual's situation. In my case, a simple phone call is enough, spending the extra 5$ for unlimited texting would be a waste of money in my case. That's why to me it feels like I am just throwing 5$ away. Each to their own I guess, but I wouldn't pay extra just to text, call me old school.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that might be generational. I keep the calling functionality on my phone solely because my mom, my dad, and my in-laws don't text. My brother, my sister, my busband, my friends my age? Text-only. It's a really clear divide.

My parents and sister will always phone me, my brother texts but will phone if there is too much to say in a text. Most of my friends communicate mostly by text.

Texting is very convenient for exchanging information with band members...1 text to "band" saves me 4 phone calls. I have also used my phone several times at rehearsals to pull up the YouTube of a song we want to try, or to find lyrics.

Albert

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #169 on: August 06, 2015, 12:09:28 PM »
I guess I'm on the "young side" in this discussion. I rarely call anyone and communicate mostly by texting. Actually even at work I don't like calling and avoid if possible preferring speaking in person, using a communicator or email.

yyc-phil

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #170 on: August 06, 2015, 12:39:59 PM »
"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."

-- Western Union internal memo, 1876.

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #171 on: August 06, 2015, 12:50:02 PM »
Quiet reflection is very hard to do in the smart phone/easy internet age. Earlier this year a friend was late for coffee. I already had my drink at the table, and it was hard for me to fill the time with my own thoughts. Plus I felt very strange being in public without a phone or e-reader to distract me while I waited.

When this happens to me, I just pretend to be doing something important on my smartphone, even though I don't have data enabled, so all I'm really doing is scrolling through the phone features and settings.

I use Ting, so it would cost me $3 to flick the switch on my phone and let it 3G off wireless. But I don't. I don't know why. I guess when it comes down to it, nothing I ever want to do with data seems worth spending $3 on.

MrsPete

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #172 on: August 06, 2015, 12:52:01 PM »
Yes smart phones, iPads, etc are useful, but at what cost? I don't mean dollar cost, but social cost.
Yes, that's exactly what I'm thinking ... though the dollar cost is significant too because people will spend $$$ to have the "latest and greatest", even if they probably shouldn't.  And the people who are arguing the other side of this coin don't seem to grasp that the social cost is very real. 

Here's one small example:  When I teach one particular unit in my class, I've always thrown out a certain trivia question, offering a couple points on the next test to the first three kids who discovered the answer.  It's a TOUGH question, and the students used to really get into it.  They'd dig through the text, ask me if ____ was right, come by my classroom before school to ask questions ... and this would go on for DAYS before the first person discovered the correct answer.  It was genuinely fun for the kids (and for me).  Now when I pose the question, no one even cracks a book ... yet half the class has the answer in 30 seconds.  No one enjoys it; they are motivated only to get the points.  The joy in having worked for something and the pride in having discovered something that escaped other people are gone from this task.

I could give dozens of other examples of things I've seen pushed aside by instant access to data. 




justajane

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #173 on: August 06, 2015, 01:03:02 PM »
Quiet reflection is very hard to do in the smart phone/easy internet age. Earlier this year a friend was late for coffee. I already had my drink at the table, and it was hard for me to fill the time with my own thoughts. Plus I felt very strange being in public without a phone or e-reader to distract me while I waited.

When this happens to me, I just pretend to be doing something important on my smartphone, even though I don't have data enabled, so all I'm really doing is scrolling through the phone features and settings.

Love it! I don't think, though, that fake looking at my 5 year old flip phone would have the same effect. :) I have a smart phone laying around that my brother gave my kids for game when he upgraded to this ginormous new smart phone, but when my husband researched, it would cost me around $15 more than what I currently pay. How much do you pay without data? I presume this means you can use wifi still, though?

I will say, though, why do people put it on the table at a restaurant or coffee shop? I would be afraid it would get spilled on or accidentally dropped. That's what I find distracting, i.e. it communicates to me that they'll give me their attention until something dings or distracts them. Then, oh, well, I'll talk to you when I'm done. If that's not why people have it on the table during a get together, why don't they put it in their purse or pocket?
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 02:03:16 PM by justajane »

Daisy

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #174 on: August 06, 2015, 02:01:11 PM »
Yes smart phones, iPads, etc are useful, but at what cost? I don't mean dollar cost, but social cost.
Yes, that's exactly what I'm thinking ... though the dollar cost is significant too because people will spend $$$ to have the "latest and greatest", even if they probably shouldn't.  And the people who are arguing the other side of this coin don't seem to grasp that the social cost is very real. 

Here's one small example:  When I teach one particular unit in my class, I've always thrown out a certain trivia question, offering a couple points on the next test to the first three kids who discovered the answer.  It's a TOUGH question, and the students used to really get into it.  They'd dig through the text, ask me if ____ was right, come by my classroom before school to ask questions ... and this would go on for DAYS before the first person discovered the correct answer.  It was genuinely fun for the kids (and for me).  Now when I pose the question, no one even cracks a book ... yet half the class has the answer in 30 seconds.  No one enjoys it; they are motivated only to get the points.  The joy in having worked for something and the pride in having discovered something that escaped other people are gone from this task.

I could give dozens of other examples of things I've seen pushed aside by instant access to data.

As a (previously) proud former dumb phone user, I have recently ditched the dumb phone and stuck with the work-provided smartphone. I'll admit, having instant access to data has been useful at times. I'm not sure I would go back to using a dumb phone once I leave work and have to pay my own way. I particularly like the maps and traffic apps that allow me to plan around traffic and find new roads and ways to get somewhere.

However, I agree that the overuse of smartphones has changed society in some not-so-nice-ways either. As above, I've noticed people instantly rush to their phone to settle any friendly disputes or things that used to require further discussion, chewing the fat, pleasant dialog, etc. Some people just jump to their phone after one of these open issues comes up, quickly types in a search and then blurts out the answer. OK, thanks, now you just killed the conversation, and you could only answer the question because you looked it up not because you are so smart. I do call smartphones the "conversation killers".

My other pet peeve is the overuse of the camera. Now that everyone in the world has a camera with them 24/7, apparently every event in our lives now needs to be documented online or immediately texted to someone. I go out to dinner with friends and some are so obsessed with taking pictures that the others (or maybe just me?) get tired of fake smiling for the camera all throughout dinner. It ruins the flow of conversations at dinner to constantly be pausing for pictures. I've taken to not smiling after the first picture. Since I'm not on Facebook, I never see all of these pictures anyways. Who knows what the rest of the world thinks of my somber poses.

Restaurants and waiters are getting annoyed with people using their smartphones all of the time and then getting bad reviews for cold food or delayed service because people are using their phones instead of looking at a menu or taking pictures of their food when it arrives and posting it online, meantime the food gets cold and they complain.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2690490/Service-time-restaurants-doubled-past-ten-years-customers-cell-phones-blame-claims-busy-NYC-restaurant.html

I've seen people riding bicycles or skateboarding on the street with traffic staring at their phones. Crazy!!!

As a fellow Gen-X'er said above, I straddle the low-tech and hi-tech and can see how people's manners with their phones, although great tools, needs a rethinking.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 02:07:42 PM by Daisy »

Daisy

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #175 on: August 06, 2015, 02:16:27 PM »
One more rant...

At a physical therapy session recently, I noticed many people getting treated with localized massages and laying down during the therapy were surfing on their phones.

I usually converse with my therapist or stay quiet while getting therapy, and the therapist really appreciates it. She said most people use their phones and don't even ask her how she's doing. They also don't notice when she's talking to them or asking them a question about their condition. Very rude, I'd say.

Also takes you out of the moment if you are always into your phone.

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #176 on: August 06, 2015, 03:18:26 PM »
I am somewhere in between. I have a smart phone. It's 3 years old. It cost me 7 a month. I don't have an social media accounts so that's not a concern and I've actively chosen to remove all email apps from the phone. I check my email about once every 48 hours on my laptop (no tablet for me at home either). I occasionally use the camera, mainly to save having to write things down. I just take a picture instead. I occasionally use the GPS/satnav. If I use it to browse the web I do so on WiFi at home. I hardly use any mobile internet. It's fast but I just can't be bothered. It's easier to wait until I get home and then I just do it on the laptop. My smart phone is used like a fancy dumb phone. From what I can gauge, most apps are not actually useful, they are games, or if they are "useful" they are incredibly niche, usually supporting a specific hobby or thing someone is interested in or taking part in. My wife uses a calorie counting app which is really good. I suppose that's an example of an app that helps, but then she has screens upon screens of other apps that I know she doesn't use. I've made sure I only have one screen. I guess it's my minimalist approach to smart phone use. I refuse to be a slave to the internet. I find it hard enough to keep off my laptop at home. If I went fully into phones and tablets I know that I would not be able to moderate my use at all.

I saw a guy walking his dog on the lead the other day. Poor dog was having to walk slower and slower because the guy was on his phone and had slowed to a crawl because he was watching something on it, headphones in and everything. Multitasking gone mad. People can no longer do one thing at a time. I'm trying really hard not become one of them.

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #177 on: August 06, 2015, 04:42:04 PM »
Like many of you, I too have been teased for my flip-phone. And, based on advice on one of the older MMM threads, my better half and I are taking the leap to Trac phones this month. No more crummy Sprint service (it stinks here; the time on our phones jumps four hours ahead randomly) and no more monthly charges. And, we get to drop-kick a few annoying people from our contacts. Bonus!

I've been with Tracfone since 2007. I made the jump from a flip phone to one of the Android phones last year. For <$10/mo for the service I have been very happy with it. I have great Verizon service. They have recently come out with GSM AT&T Android phones too. I have an LG Ultimate 2 phone. It's a ~$100 phone. I use mine a lot for wifi, camera, GPS, MP3, apps, etc. I make occasional calls, texts, and use less than 100mb of data per month.

I know there are cheaper, and free, cell plans out there but they are all on Sprint or TMobile, both of which have spotty service where I live. AT&T and Verizon both have great service where I live, even in remote areas. My neighbor has an iphone4 on Sprint. She was telling me she has spotty service, even in town. But she's on a two-year contract and it not open much to try a new plan.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2015, 05:05:48 PM by eostache »

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Re: Society's obsession with mobile phones
« Reply #178 on: August 06, 2015, 05:23:36 PM »
Quiet reflection is very hard to do in the smart phone/easy internet age. Earlier this year a friend was late for coffee. I already had my drink at the table, and it was hard for me to fill the time with my own thoughts. Plus I felt very strange being in public without a phone or e-reader to distract me while I waited.

When this happens to me, I just pretend to be doing something important on my smartphone, even though I don't have data enabled, so all I'm really doing is scrolling through the phone features and settings.

Love it! I don't think, though, that fake looking at my 5 year old flip phone would have the same effect. :) I have a smart phone laying around that my brother gave my kids for game when he upgraded to this ginormous new smart phone, but when my husband researched, it would cost me around $15 more than what I currently pay. How much do you pay without data? I presume this means you can use wifi still, though?

I will say, though, why do people put it on the table at a restaurant or coffee shop? I would be afraid it would get spilled on or accidentally dropped. That's what I find distracting, i.e. it communicates to me that they'll give me their attention until something dings or distracts them. Then, oh, well, I'll talk to you when I'm done. If that's not why people have it on the table during a get together, why don't they put it in their purse or pocket?

We're on Ting, which is basically pay for your use. My husband's contribution to the bill is about $15, while mine has ballooned to about $25 - mostly because I use it for work, so I use a lot more voice minutes. Before I used it as my work phone, we were at about $15 each. I'm at the point where an unlimited plan like Republic Wireless' would be better - but I don't want to buy a new phone for it.

I can use wireless, and do now... but for the longest time I did not understand the difference between data and wireless and didn't realize wireless was free, so I kept it shut off. Since I'm so unused to using wireless, I often forget that wireless connections are available sometimes out in the world.

My husband still has a non-smartphone (but not flip phone) where the keyboard pops out of it on the side for texting. Damn I miss that keyboard. Touchscreen does not compare.