Monday, February 1, 2010

“When Phones Are Just Too Smart”

Since the iPhone has broadened the spectrum of what cell phones are capable of, they have seem to go from novelty to necessity. The capabilities are endless considering the 140,000 + apps. This article in the New York Times says that the average user may download several applications only to religiously use between five and ten. They compare this to cable tv, saying that the average cable user becomes accustomed to about a dozen channels even though hundreds are available. A psychotherapist, Julie Graham from San Francisco says that people, “Think I’m supposed to want more of them than I have,” creating a sense of being left out of the population of iPhone users.

Personally I have refrained from the masses, not purchasing the iPhone. I can personally attest to feeling left out at times when people are talking about the phone and their new rain stick application or light sabor. To me it seems unimportant and a little useless and yet it’s the whole world when the next person downloads the useless application that probably is never used after the first few days. This made me think though, what else has social influences in our society?


Noodee said...

The article "When Phones Are Just Too Smart" compares iPhone applications with cable tv. There are countless tv channels and over 140,000 apps out there. Cable watchers tend to subscribe to many channels and end up watching no more than five, as iPhone users download most featured apps and end up using less than ten of them. These scenarios are found not only with iphone apps and cables, they are present in every aspect of our lives. Take for example, Caroline Cua in the article. "IF Caroline Cua’s iPhone looked anything like her closet, where she keeps her dozens of pairs of shoes, she would have screen after screen of applications." Most women are obsessed with clothes and shoes. I have a closet full of clothes and always end up wearing the same jeans with 5-10 shirts. I have six pairs of boots and wear two religiously. Do we buy because we need? Or simply to fit in the norm and follow trends?

The article says people tend to be drawn to the most popular apps on the AppStore, the ones with most ratings. Myself included. But do we continue using those apps after just a few days? I certainly don't. In fact, we forget we even have them. In a world where materials and goods are so accessible, we become slaves of trends and sometimes lose sense of what the real necessities are. How many pairs of shoes do one really need? How many jeans? Shirts? When it comes to the essentials, all I need is half of what I've got in the closet.

KatSUESS said...

The article states that people become obsessed and overwhelmed with the amount of possibilities available to them through modern technologies. The iphone opened up an entirely new realm of appliances that are not necessary however may be useful and fun. The majority of people to own iphones take advantage of this possibility and overload themselves and their phone with loads of unnecessary appliances.

However this does not pertain to obsoletely all iphone owners. I personally do not have an iphone, however I have an ipod touch which is pretty much the same thing, without wifi or the phone. With this application i also have the capability to download the same amount of apps as the normal iphone user has, however i don't find it necessary and would rather take up all that memory space for the initial purpose of the ipod touch, which is to listen to music. However on the other hand my closet has a multitude of things that I don't necessarily need to use, however refuse to get ride of. On the other hand my boyfriend filled up his ipod touch with numerous applications of which he seems to use only a few, and his closet is very minimal and constantly recycled.

The iphone or other such technologies do not necessarily overwhelm our normal routine or personality, they are simply another factor in which we have a choice, whether to subdue to its influence or continue on with your own personal stream.