Social Question

steven_elliott's avatar

Why do people love mobile phones so much?

Asked by steven_elliott (7points) July 26th, 2010

It just seems like these days people are obsessed with mobile devices. It’s to the point now where people actually identify themselves by a certain mobile technology. Statements like, “I’m a iPhone guy” or “I’m a BlackBerry loyalist” just seem strange to me. People will wait on lines for hours to wait for the newest thing from Apple and pay good money for spots in line closer to the store. I mean, don’t get me wrong I use a BlackBerry and it works fine for me but people keep telling me that I should convert to their preferred mobile device. I just don’t get it… any thoughts?

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51 Answers

DeanV's avatar

They’re a convient place to store all of your information at once, plus the technology for smartphones is developing faster than possibly any other piece of technology out there. The amount of things you can do with these phones (whether it’s a Blackberry, iPhone, Android, whatever) rivals what you could do with laptops just a few years ago, and that’s pretty exciting.

Plus neither Apple or Microsoft has released or plans to release a new update to OSX or Windows in the next year or so, so nobody’s really talking about that.
It’s just the “in” piece of technology right now.

wundayatta's avatar

phone, IM, text, camera, video, sound recorder, shopping list, navigator, maps and pictures of the entire world, list keeper, alarm clock, internet browser….

all it needs is to build in a few blades and you would need no other tools in life!

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
knitfroggy's avatar

I love my BlackBerry. I talk to my friend on BlackBerry messenger constantly. I have all kinds of info stored on my phone-addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, my grocery list, etc. My husband refers to it as “your Precious” because I am never far from my phone. I would like to have an iPhone, but AT&T doesn’t have 3G in my area, and their plans are outrageously priced compared to what I pay for my Sprint service.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I don’t get it. I couldn’t care less.

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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I have a cell phone. I very rarely use it, though. I see it more as something to use in case of emergency. I don’t really have that urge to be constantly connected and available to everyone I know at all hours of every day. heh.

wundayatta's avatar

Oh, I forgot music both from memory and the internet. Also radio… sort of. Internet radio, anyway.

bob_'s avatar

I love my BlackBerry this much.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
knitfroggy's avatar

@wundayatta I love Pandora. I used to take my mp3 player to the gym but now I just take the BlackBerry.

gailcalled's avatar

I am also in the minority here; I have an el cheapo phone that I keep only for emergencies (car catastrophe or phone outage when corded phone is also kaput). Occasionally I use it when I am at the Dr.‘s with my mother and need to discuss a medical issue with my sis.

wundayatta's avatar

@knitfroggy I hate being a shill for anything, but I have to say I am totally amazed with it. All these years, I haven’t really listened to music because it’s just too hard to get the stuff I like. I don’t have time to haunt the music stores and try things out or do any other research into what I might like. Now I’ve got a bunch of channels for artists I do like, and it does a very good job of picking things for me. It’s algorithm works for the most part. It’s not perfect, but it is way better than the way things had been for me.

I even had some luck looking for an artist they didn’t have. They suggested a bunch of other artists and one was a bingo! My new favorite channel and music. Chakradar #4, in case you’re interested.

CMaz's avatar

I hate them!

Constant accountability sucks.

netgrrl's avatar

I got rid of my land line long ago, so my cell phone is it for me. I went from having a plain Nokia to the iPhone 3 months after they came out, and never looked back.

In many cases it often replaces my laptop.

I don’t stand in line, or even order the day of release. But I did just upgrade to iPhone 4 Friday. I love it. (All the fuss over antennagate has been way over hyped, sitting right here I have 5 bars on my iPhone 4 where I only had 4 on my 3GS running the same 4.0.1 OS.)

How can I not love it? IM, text, email, web, schedule, apps, great camera & video… oh yeah, occasionally I make phone calls.

netgrrl's avatar

@ChazMaz I own a cell phone, my cell phone doesn’t own me. I frequently turn it off or put it on silent so I can give friends & family the undivided attention they deserve.

ragingloli's avatar

I only use it as a watch and a portable alarm clock.

Frenchfry's avatar

Well you can call home and see if you need milk while your at the grocery store. Very handy. When your car breaks down in the middle of no where you can call for help. Very handy!

Mtl_zack's avatar

Smart phones are so useful in certain situations. It’s always great to be able to rely on a device in your pocket. Sometimes I think “if only I had internet access to buy my movie ticket” oh wait… Netflix app on iphone.

As for identifyingwith a brand, that happens with a lot of tech industries, like laptops, phones, ISPs, etc… I think a lot of the marketing of these companies goes towards polarizing consumers. This goes back to the early 1990s.

max_gutierrez's avatar

they are almost like a laptop but they have the same problem, they are not the same that “reality” friends

knitfroggy's avatar

@wundayatta I also loved Pandora when the stereo in my car was out! I just started Pandora and stuck my BlackBerry on the dashboard. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked until we got a new stereo!

I also have very good luck with what they choose for me. I very rarely have to skip songs. I did have a certain set of songs I listened to when I work out, but it wasn’t hard getting used to Pandora. And it’s free, so I really can’t complain, right?

Mtl_zack's avatar

@bob_ That reminded me of this comic

Blackberry's avatar

You can look up anything you want whereever you are. Concerning the tribalism over brand, that is something different.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I hate them.
They are like a tether.

Austinlad's avatar

So they can call their spouse to find out whether to buy 1%, 2%, skim or whole milk… or a business associate to say they’re stuck in a plane on the tarmac.

Otto_King's avatar

Since mobile phones became personal computers, my iPhone is my right hand in my everyday life. No hour passes by without me using my phone for anything or everything. GPS, Skype, take a picture, find out what is the song in the radio, sms, play a little, check if any new email, you name it. I couldn’t live without it! ...and I think it’s normal in the 21st century.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The attraction to the latest gadget has been around as long as man has, and probably longer. Even my 85 year-old mother has a more technically advanced computer and TV than I do. Some people are just more attracted to it than others, which is one of many things that makes us all different.

Where the line is crossed is when “connecting” via technology interferes with with basic etiquette. In thinking about it, there are probably three:
* If you are are in a meeting/class and are potentially expecting an emergency call, let the others know on the front end why your cell phone is on. Otherwise, turn it off and no texting please.
* If you want to take/make a call, pull off of the road, or step away from others. Spending 30 minutes at the airport seated next to someone talking on the phone or being next to someone in a public restroom stall chatting away just doesn’t seem right.
* If you are on call and want to have dinner out and catch a movie, it might be a better idea to order delivery/takeaway and rent a movie.

Other than those, I’m perfectly content to be connected or with someone who is. I really enjoy getting an immediate answer to something that is under debate or I cannot get out of my mind.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t love it THAT much! Fact, half the time I don’t know where it is. It’s just convenience. I could care less about the newest sexy phone. Gimme a good one that makes phone calls.

jerv's avatar

Given that I am often not home and need a way to be contacted wherever I am, a cellphone is the only option for me. Like many people, I don’t have a landline, and that simplifies things since I only have to give one phone number and don’t have to list conditions or times or alternate numbers or anything.

I was unemployed for over a year and would’ve lost out on the job I have now if it weren’t for the fact that I had my cellphone with me one day when I was grocery shopping; in today’s economy, if you don’t answer right fucking away then they will pass over you and go on to the next guy, so the fact that I picked up lifted me from the ranks of the unemployed. If I didn’t have a cellphone, my EUC would’ve eventually dried up and I’d be penniless and homeless. Are you willing to remain a Luddite at that cost?

Also, phones are not just phones. Do you ever need to do some banking when you are not near a bank or your home computer? Do you like to listen to music? Ever need a calculator, dayplanner, or flashlight? My old Nokia had an excellent LED light! Have you ever seen something and wished you had your camera with you? I use my phone as an alarm clock as well; I make it work even when it’s charging for the night.

That said, I personally have a fairly basic phone and do most of the other stuff on my iPod Touch; that way I don’t have to worry about my gaming addiction depriving me of a phone line due to a dead battery.

As for people hawking the device they have, there are always brand loyalists. Apple comes to mind immediately; those people are fanatical! But I think that part of it is that Device X has changed their lives for the better and now they want you to share in their joy. The same goes for cars, home computers, kitchen appliances, and sexual positions.

charliecompany34's avatar

i wish we could go back to the time before cell phones. back to the time of busy signals and i just cannot be reached right now. i’ll call you when i’ll call you. i’ll talk to you when i can get a chance.

cell phones mean you should always be available. my oldest son has ruined so many phones because he is on it near water in the shower or on the toilet and even jumping into a pool with it in his pocket trunks.

do we need to be this available?

gailcalled's avatar

Jeez. I have just learned how to use my digital camera and get the photos onto Flickr. Now you’re telling me that a phone can do all that?

I do calculations in my head, I keep my day planner on a large, old-fashioned calendar that hangs in my kitchen and I have a flashlight in the car (in my flat-tire or black-ice-skid safety kit).

jerv's avatar

@gailcalled Maybe the simple stuff, but can you do trig?

gailcalled's avatar

@jerv: That is true. Trig problems come up daily in my life, I know.

jerv's avatar

@gailcalled Your talking to an machinist… who also gets extremely bored on their lunch break :P

gailcalled's avatar

@jerv: I’d have to be dead to enjoy thinking up trig problems. I still remember, however, that sine = opposite/hypotenuse; cosine = adjacent/hypotenuse; and tangent = opposite/adjacent. It’s amazing what things stick to the brain.

Now, my idea of fun is checking out Hungarian 101 on the computer.

jerv's avatar

@gailcalled My iPod Touch and most smartphones do that too; they have apps for that.

Otto_King's avatar

@gailcalled What is that Hungarian 101? The keyboard or the dalmatians? :)

gailcalled's avatar

@Otto_King : Ez nem a kutyák.

Otto_King's avatar

Ooh, magyarok is vannak a flutheren? Udvozlet!

gailcalled's avatar

@Otto_King: Sajnos, nem. Köszönöm google.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jerv Trust me…you could have made it without a cell phone. A $15 a month landline phone and an answering machine would have worked almost as well while you were unemployed, and for a lot less money. Truly. You CAN make it without. It’s just not as convenient.

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III Not nowadays. Maybe back when unemployment was about half of what it is now, but I know enough people who work with the employment departments of various states to know how employers operate. It may be different if you have unique qualifications, but for most jobs the employer can easily go right on past you if you are even the least bit inconvenient to them. And trust me, they will. I thought that those people who told me employers do that were joking, but I lost at least one position that way; a prospective employer left a voicemail and I called them back less than an hour later for naught.

It’s also convenient in that I can actually talk with certain agencies back East who I can’t contact after work since their offices are closed about three hours before I get home and my work doesn’t have phones I can use on my breaks. In this case. “convenient” actually means “vital”.

I guess your life is far different from mine, so maybe you can get by without a cell, but I can’t.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jerv You have a point. Cell phones have created an atmosphere of “I can talk to you immediately, and if I can’t, you lose!”

I lived most of my life without a cell phone, so yeah. I could get by without one.

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III I did too, until I moved to a city. Things are so much more relaxed in a rural village in the woods than in an urban jungle :P

gailcalled's avatar

@jerv; You talkin’ ‘bout my home town? We do have issues with deer hitting our cars, coyotes howling at night, skunks and raccoons exploring our compost heaps, possums and snapping turtles who creep across the road and ask to be run over, and recent sightings of bear, bobcats, and a few mountain lions.

Then there are the carpenter bees who are systematically boring their way through my cedar siding and the woodpeckers who rip the holes open in order to eat the carpenter bees’ larvae. Yesterday, two baby phoebes fell out of the nest before they were ready to fly. The nest itself (on top of one of my outdoor flood lights) was too high for me to attempt to replace the birds.

However, this morning, I did see two little heads peeking out of the nest. Either they got back in or there were originally four babies.

And we had a charming Blueberry Festival on Sunday, attended by over 1800 people, a mob relative to the population.

jerv's avatar

@gailcalled Sounds like where I used to live in NH. Part of the lease we had on our cabin in the woods involved maintaining a certain phoebe nest. Seattle is a totally different ball game.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@gailcalled My husband hit a deer a few months ago. Destroyed the hood of the car. I wrote “Oh Deer!” on the owie,and I took the grand kids out to the car, with a magic marker, and instructed them to draw pictures on the hood! They were astounded and delighted! Of course, I had to firmly explain that you can’t just do this to a car, and explained that we were going to be throwing the hood away, anyway.

jerv's avatar

@Dutchess_III I stll like my hood better :P

gailcalled's avatar

@jerv: I love that you agreed to foster parent the phoebes.

After having lived in the three major cities on the eastern coast, I am deliriously happy to be out of urban life. Although Seattle was beautiful and had its obvious charms, I was much more at home in the outskirts of Olympia, where my bro and his family had a wonderful house with a view of the water and Mt. Rainier, seals leaping on and off of barges, wild blackberries the size of limes, aromatic roses as big as dinner plates, and, of course, the evergreen forests.

mattbrowne's avatar

Here’s an interesting observation:

“In some developing countries, with little telecommunications infrastructure, this is the technology that gave poor people access to health and legal services.”

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