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2 days in the world without my phone

October 18, 2010

I recently noticed a LinkedIn post asking what people were doing to better leverage social media marketing in South Africa. This upset me a bit because in South Africa they are still dealing with core issues like poverty and social inequity, let alone social media. While we’re talking Facebook and Twitter for everything, the Internet has still only reached about 11-12% of the South African population, and the year is 2010. Needless to say – they have more important issues to deal with over there, and good luck to them. I mean that.

The question itself though – about social media use in South Africa, asked by an American, mind you (love picking on you guys), made me realise just how dependant we are on our social technology.

I have numerous friends who swear that they only have a Facebook page due to peer pressure and that they never ever check it, and never log in – but somehow when I speak to them they always seem to know everything that’s going on with our other friends, even though they may be interstate or overseas, and they always seem to have seen those people’s holiday photos and so on. So like it or not, we are addicted to the social media drug in places like Australia and the United States. Even older generations in the US are getting into social media in a big way.

I recently had two of my wisdom teeth out, which for those of you that have had it done – well, that’s a fun experience. My greatest mistake however was leaving my mobile phone charger in the office on the day I was having the extraction done, and so I spent two days camped out on the couch at home, without any battery life in my phone.

Cut off from the outside world (my home pc with the Internet fully connected was, at 5 metres distance, just too far away from the couch), I realised just how reliant on that tiny piece of wonderful technology I had become.

Jokes aside, yes I still had the internet at home but the real discovery here was that my mobile goes everywhere with me, and that even when at home I now find myself doing a lot of web browsing using the device (I have a HTC Desire using Android for the record). 1 in 3 Australians in fact (NOT ME!) actually surf the web while using the toilet, for Pete’s sake! Finding myself without a phone for two whole days (while consuming my fair share of painkillers and eating nothing but yoghurt and mashed potatoes), I unconsciously felt like I had lost an appendage.

Even more scary, while I haven’t made the leap to get an iPad or similar tablet device as yet, it certainly is in the plans to do so, which would undoubtedly create even more dependence on mobile browsing devices to sustain my thirst for information and up-to-the-second news and information.

Worse, Optus in Australia recently was the first to announce it will be coming out with mobile phone plans with unlimited web browsing soon – the other networks will surely follow soon. This does not bode well for addicts like me.

All this coming from a guy who refused to get himself a mobile phone until he was 19 years old, and even then it was only because it was needed for work. I always felt when I was at uni (‘college’ for the US audience) that those losers who went everywhere with their phones were on another planet. What were they thinking?

So I realise that I’m actually no different to the silly person that wants to know about commercial Facebook use in a poverty stricken country – because I am just as addicted to the stuff as she is. I hope I learn from this. And yes, what a loser I am for being so addicted to my phone.

The punishment – I really need to go to the gym, play some sport and stop geeking out so much.

Deliriant Isti Romani (These Romans are crazy!)

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From → General

3 Comments
  1. I also recently came across a similar post with the same theme (I borrowed their header image too) – It’s called ‘How to tell if you’re addicated to your iphone’.

    Have a read!:

    http://optimist.posterous.com/iphone-addiction-how-to-tell-if-youre-addicte

  2. i love mobile phones that can surf the net in lightning fast speed-.~

  3. mobile phones that have built in cameras are my favorite because they can capture those special moments and events “,”

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