The Gadget Addiction Epidemic

from the fun-with-statistics dept

The addiction to calling people addicts rolls on, with the AP saying that a new poll reveals Americans are showing “early signs of addiction” to their gadgets. It says about half of computer and mobile phones say they can’t imagine life without the devices, while 40 percent of broadband users say the same about it — signs that people “are getting hooked” on new technologies. Of course, those numbers also mean about half of computer and mobile phone owners don’t think they’re essential, along with 60 percent of broadband users. It’s hard to understand why the idea that people enjoy new technologies and like to buy them — particularly right before the holidays — means America is a nation of tech addicts, and why it really matters, anyway. But the AP quotes a psychologist that specializes in internet addiction, so the problem must be real. It’s a good thing all those people are so attached to their broadband connections so they can get help for their problem online.

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Comments on “The Gadget Addiction Epidemic”

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Drew says:

Re: Addiction? Hell Yes

I think its funny how people listen to there music all the time. IPODs everywhere, phones that play music… its crazy. Problem is, these people will become life deficient. Its never been tested on a long term scale, but what will happen to people who devote a large portion of there “mind” to music during 95% of there social engagements everyday (This is from a school environment). They might most likely lose a part of there ability to full engage society because they have lost the chance to naturally learn it. I guess this just makes me more valuable to companies when I go for a job.

Stephen Tillman says:

Re: Re: Addiction? Hell Yes

Nah… I think that’s an overreaction.

1) Most of these people already have a developed social interraction ability. This isn’t a muscle that’s going to atrophe for lack of use. Now, when you see 2 to 5 year-olds walking around listening to music and not interracting… then you can worry.

2) People aren’t listening to their music in place of interracting with people. I’m looking forward to my iPod (yay christmas), but I’m not going to become a hermit just because I have mobile music. It’s something I can use while waiting in line (with people I rarely talk to anyway) or while jogging (around people I don’t talk to anyway) or while shopping (next to people I don’t talk to anyway). (see a trend here?)

3) For the situation of people using them in school… The only social interraction I learned in school was “click-isms” and “in croud” and “outcroud”. Woo. Sorry, but My music was infinatly more important to me at the time than those “social skills”.

Admiral says:

Oh my god!

I never realized that I had such a problem!
I mean… I am addicted to my car – I cannot imagine going anywhere without it! Even to work (24 miles from home)! I am addicted to online shopping – I can’t fathom the idea of going to real stores any more – I am addicted to all the free time that I have because I don’t have to wait for dialup to do its thing….

Where do I seek councelling for this horrible-horrible addiction?

Rikko says:

Re: Re: Oh my god!

You forgot things like clean, chlorinated, fluorinated drinking water. And cooked meat. And clothing – how many of you act completely ridiculous and go into withdrawal if you can’t get your clothing fix in a public place? Don’t forget showering. Or your telephone – most people act silly if they are denied any sort of land line or mobile phone.

Haircuts.. Anti perspirant.. Toothbrushes.. Glass windows.. Plates and cutlery..

This entire story comes from people who need attention. Goddo for Carlo for titling this what it really is.

Brannen says:

Re: Addicted to sleep

Hi. My name is Brannen. I’m a sleep addict. My other sleep addict friends tell me that I should spend 1/4 of my life sleeping – up to 8 hours a day!

I try to fight this addiction, so I can actually have some free time outside of work, kids, dogs, house, studying … but I wind up giving into my sleep addiction about 4-5 hours a day.

Fortunately, I have found help for this addiction – coffee! I go to free sleep-addiction drug clinics regularly – about 10 times or more a day – for my sleep-addiction medicine, coffee. However, the sleep addiction usually overcomes the coffee medicine around 12PM each night, despite my best efforts. Then it usually doesn’t give up its control over me when I want it to at 5AM.

Thanks for allowing me to speak – I have to go to another appointment at the counter sleep addiction machine.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given

The majority of replies here have mentioned MODERN necessities (transportation, food, cleanliness tools…etc). Music is NOT a necessity – it is right on par with television as for being a luxury.

I do however agree that the “addiction” study which was linked in the main article is a waste of time/money… There are many trends that the public enjoys for some amount of time before moving on to their next relief from “static life”. The current trend happens to be portable gadgets such as music players, cell phones and text messagers.

who knows what the next trend will be, right around the corner. but I can assure you that when it comes, there will be another one of “these studies” that calls it an addiction.

“Addiction” and “Trend” are NOT the same — there is no need to throw money at the former, for these useless studies.

dan says:

No Subject Given

As far as I am concerned it does not count as an addiction unless it becomes harmfull to the person. If I were giving up sleeping, eating, working or my family so that I could play computer games, I would be addicted. If I gave up these things so that I could listen to an iPod, I would be addicted. If what I am doing does not in any way detract from the rest of my life, then I do not believe I am addicted.

You may as well say people are addicted to breathing. Heck, whenever I try to stop I go through withdrawel and eventually start breathing again. I can’t imagine my life without it.

s says:


When life is going along pretty smoothly, some expert comes out of the woodwork to tell you that you are doing it all wrong!

And since the “experts” are such experts at living YOUR life…you should listen to them.

What did we do before iPods? I think it was called portable cd players. And before that the “Walkman”.

If my great, great, great grandmother could have listened to the radio while she was doing her chores, I bet she would have. Of course she probably didn’t see as many people in her life as I see in a day, thus she probably spoke to fewer people. Which of course by today’s standards and experts she was socially inept.

Times change, people adapt. These experts need to get over it and pay attention some real problems.

(We all know that if said experts knew how to operate an iPod they wouldn’t be calling it an addiction.)

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