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Tunde Kara: I’m addicted to gadgets; what manner of witchery is this?

Tunde Kara

In all of these amazing statistics and interesting facts, perhaps for me the most remarkable is the speed at which wireless mobile technology/mobility has taken over everything, from love to learning to global development. The rate of acceptance and widespread use of this technology borders on the edge of hypnosis by sorcery. Cell phones in particular, have become near biological appendages – everywhere you go! To think that just 10 years ago, owning a land line placed you comfortably in the top earning middle class demographic. While owning a cumbersome-shoe-sized hand-held phone that came in its own “suitcase”, meant you were definitely in the big leagues – Thuraya anybody?

Am I the only one with this addiction? Recent studies don’t seem to think so; in fact, research carried out by Time magazine in cooperation with Qualcomm ( a telecom company), across 8 countries – China, India, UK, US, Brazil, South Korea included – reveals that a staggering 84% of people polled, regard their wireless mobile devices as: ubiquitous, very helpful and very hard to live without. The stats increase to the 90s percentile when developing or recently “developed” countries are separately considered. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because, as with any romance moving from infatuation to commitment, the relationship between people and their mobile devices is a fair reflection of what they brought into the relationship in the first place.   The populace in countries where connection and the convenience of accessing readily available information used to be difficult, tend to appreciate and -for the lack of a better word – revere wireless mobile technology. Wireless mobile technology provides for these people ( Nigerians inclusive by the way), a kind of time travel; delivering at the push of a button or at the touch of a screen, the kind of progress it took other countries decades to build.

Point is, never in man’s illustrious history, have we had any tool, any instrument, object or technology, gain such widespread acceptance and influence over our lives and actions as wireless mobile tech – phones in particular – has. Nothing comes close – ok maybe money. But do you know any neurotic who goes to bed every night with his wallet, or reaches obsessively for his wallet every few minutes to check updates (content)? I don’t think so. With technology like Square’s Pay and Google Wallet phones are taking the place of money and wallets anyway.

 “Cell phones in particular, have become near biological appendages – everywhere you go!”

We shop, we meet our life partners, we campaign, we donate, we worship, we relax and have fun, we keep in touch with loved ones, we run businesses, we spy, we war; we do all of these and more with wireless mobile tech enabled devices. In just a little over a decade, mobile tech has infiltrated our lives and sense of well-being so much, it’s a little scary to imagine what we’d be able do with these gadgets, ten years from now. Some kinky thought just crossed my mind… oh yes; we do that already!

by Tunde Kara

WACOM INTUOS CREATIVE STYLUS

I own a PlayBook, a Z10, an iPad and until very recently a Bold 3. My excuse for this exuberance? I work with a content based company 99.9% dependent on the internet. Just as my head begins to accept this smart Alec retort to the question of my wireless mobile tech gluttony, same head reminds me: “But you owned all of these gadgets – save the Z10- even before you resumed there?” So what was my excuse then? I think it went something like: “Them gizmos are a virtual office for me, away from the physical one”. Sigh.

Truth be told though, when you consider my “un-smart” phone collection ( I’ve got 3); my enviable bank of: earphones, earplugs, headphone, pads and other mobile tech enabling paraphernalia e.g modems; it becomes clear even to the most un-discerning eye that I’m a wireless mobile tech junkie (just in case the above Ying-Yang arguing with myself episode didn’t tip you off).

A personal one week audit of my activities, revealed my somewhat alarming tendency to never be more than 1 meter away from my mobile devices, in every 30 minute cycle. The stats are even more alarming when data is narrowed down to cell phone proximity – downright alarming!

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