Cellphones are more than just tools–our obsession with them says something rather significant about our personality. Especially in a culture where owning the next new device is a badge of techno street cred.
The following is an excerpt from a clever blog post called: “You Own This Phone Too? Well, Now I Hate It” by Michael Fisher. The article helps give color to our addiction to novelty.
Cellphones are: “crucially important for what they say about who we are. When Motorola launched the first RAZR in 2004, it was only available for $599 on contract. If you owned a RAZR during that time, it was more a status symbol than a communications device. The same could be said about the original iPhone, a glorified feature phone with an expensive logo: owning one was an advertisement. It was a statement that you deserved to own one.”
Typically, the newest cellphone loses its techno street cred when you notice other people holding the same gadget you have in your pocket. Fisher relates a story that his friend told him which illustrates the point well:
I was in a crowd when “a message notification went off. Immediately, everyone pulled out their phones to see if it was them.” The notification chime that had sounded was the default Apple message beep. Everyone who pulled out their phone was an iPhone owner. ‘That’s when I started hating my iPhone.'”
The following satirical news story from The Onion sums all of this up quite quickly:
As Fisher concludes, our tendency to crave novelty when it comes to our cellphones should cause us to pause and: “ask ourselves how important personalization and uniqueness are to our sense of worth.”
- Do Cell Phones Change What it Means to be Human? (joshchalmers.wordpress.com)
- How the Omnipresent Cellphone Trains Our Brains to be Distracted (joshchalmers.wordpress.com)