iPhones Aren’t Addictive, They’re Just Useful

5 minute read
| Devil's Advocate

A new meme of complaining to mommy Apple that your iPhone is too addictive is gaining momentum amongst a growing bastion of meek minds hiding their shortcomings behind their favorite veil of victimhood.

Today, Apparently, Polls = Movement

The latest attention-whore gambit by busy bodies avoiding their own failings in life by wasting everyone’s time is sad… I mean SSAAD (Stanford Students Against Addictive Devices). These geniuses cite (in a PDF that looks like a ransom note) a poll by Common Sense Media. Sure, that doesn’t sound like a group with a blatant agenda at all, not. A poll! Those things are always accurate. So you know, science!

Kids lining up against the wall with smartphones

BUT THINK ABOUT THE KIDS!!

Why not other addictive things?

I wish they would move to more pressing things that we are all addicted to. Here’s a partial list of things people are addicted to based on a totally scientific poll where I picked people by flinging (organic) pudding at a mirror:

  • Mattresses (I’m absolutely addicted to sleeping like 8hrs a day and just ignoring everyone and everything)
  • Chairs (I sit like 8-10 hrs a day when I could be frolicking in fields smelling roses)
  • Plumbing (we collectively waste hours upon hours at showers, sinks, faucets, tubs)
  • Toilets (how much countless time have we all wasted there)
  • Kitchens (evil places sucking up countless hours with its apps including coffee, cutlery, microwave ovens, stoves, etc.)
  • Bottled water (people walk around these days hydrating way too much and looking like giant toddlers constantly nursing from their water bottles)
  • Food (it seems like half of my waking days are spent figuring out what I want to eat; what a time waster)
  • Refrigeration (I waste untold hours just standing in front of the thing searching, for what, I don’t even know; that dirty, addictive fridge)
  • HVAC (people in my household spend untold time tweaking the temperature up/down, down/up—it’s an endless parade of obsessive, time-wasting behavior)
  • Cars (hours a day lost, just going here, there, selfishly disconnected from my fellow man)
  • Credit cards and shopping (so many people are just addicted to going out and getting stuff they both need and want; they are addicted to commerce and consumerism)
  • Sex (how much time do we all waste trying to find someone, then engaging in it endlessly over and over, disconnected from our communities (swingers excepted); years of peoples’ lives, just flushed down the toilet, addicted to the pursuit)
  • Money (so many are just addicted to using it, thinking about it, what they would do with more of it, how to make more of it)

This ‘addiction’ meme is old

Each generation seems to have this boogie man of “this is too good, so it’s addictive, so…burn the witch” movement. First TV was too addictive and society will die. Then it was video games. Then computers. Then we were addicted to the internet. And yet, somehow, we have all collectively survived. Yet like other things in my overly sarcastic list above, people figured out these things are useful and people like using useful things. And using useful things are, in fact, good. Funny that.

Next: Just Because It’s Really Useful Doesn’t Mean It’s Bad

21 Comments Add a comment

  1. gGrant

    Love your work John. I agree…
    Technology isn’t addictive. Some apps are deliberately designed to be addictive. Facebook employs more psych graduates specifically to make its apps addictive than it employs coders. The endorphin hit from getting likes and messages is specifically targeted and frankly is now a significant public mental health problem. It’s all well and good to ask Apple to give us tools to measure and (somehow) control our addiction, but it’s a personal problem – we need to learn that just because we -can- do a thing, doesn’t mean we should.

    Also loved the Star Trek analogy. I have another. You don’t see anyone saying “I’m going to do all my work on my PADD, I don’t need the computer anymore.” iPad is made for people who don’t want or (situations where they/we don’t) need a computer. That’s a huge new market, completely different from the computer market. We have nutters who try to do all their work on iPad, and I applaud them for doing Apple’s PR for them, but iOS was designed for iPhone and never to be a computer. I can create content on iPhone/iPad, but it’s not as extensive as I would create on Mac. I have no problem with that. Each device has its purpose. Apple has had 10 years of touch device experience to come up with a superb touch Mac interface, but you get the feeling all the effort has gone into the dead end of the deliberately limited iOS. You can’t say a good touch Mac would cannibalise iOS sales because, as noted, it’s an entirely different market, and given the size of Mac’s market, would have no impact on iOS sales anyway! Lets hope the group that (I trust) is revising App Kit and Xcode based on 10 years of iOS experience beats the port-to-Mac Marzipan group when decisions get made. Given the pre-iPhone Touch Bar technology was added to Mac, my hopes are not high.

  2. geoduck

    Each generation seems to have this boogie man of “this is too good, so it’s addictive, so…burn the witch” movement. First TV was too addictive and society will die. Then it was video games. Then computers. Then we were addicted to the internet.

    Even farther. Congressional hearings were held into the dangers of comic books. I think the same was done for rock music. I remember reading that people were worried that radio would corrupt the youth of the 1920s. But the clincher is something I read back in college. Aristotle (if I remember correctly) once said that a particular trend becoming fashionable would corrupt the youth. They would never bother to learn their lessons again. What was the innovation? Literacy. He opposed the idea of anyone other than learned men being taught to read.

    Oddly enough this morning on CBC Ideas they ran a discussion about this very “danger”. What I found most interesting was the psychologist that was so against letting children have screen time didn’t seem to understand that correlation is not causation. Was incapable of grasping how weak a post hoc argument was. Oh, kids are using their screens more. Look at the opioid crisis. Look at the spike of suicides. Look at how lonely they are. Phones and tablets must be the cause. It was grotesque and offensive.

  3. furbies

    WTF ?

    Seriously ?

    Poor little diddums ! We have so little self control that we have to blame someone else because we can’t help ourselves.

    Ironically, if Apple had implemented some iOS feature that “alerts” the user if it notices that the user may be using their iDevice too much, these same poor little snowflakes would be all up in arms that the big nasty intrusive invasive evil corporate multinational was spying on their iDevice usage habits…

  4. CudaBoy

    Spoken like a true junkie, John. Denial is the first sign of addiction. TV is a great example of an addictive device that panders to the lowest common denominator while it’s sole existence is to sell you deadly addictive drugs (seems abc is solely sponsored by Big Pharma) and keep you from thinking. As a result the USA ranks like 14th in the world in “intelligence” i.e. math, science, history, literacy etc. If you don’t think the TV played a big part in the dumbing of the Baby Boomers – then they got you too. The nitwits addicted to texting, skyping, and any other stupid social Insta-shaming, flickering bullshit are keeping the “stupid” spigot open for a new generation of idiot Americans. Worse, it kills thousands every year courtesy of distracted driving- how stupid are you to kill someone because you are addicted and shamed into responding to a text within the social rule of a nanosecond?
    What about the waste of time while on these devices? Nope, where there is MONEY to be made – you will continue to market addictive deadly “medicines” and media babysitters like TV and worse this “smart” phone sham. Shame on all you that think otherwise; now go watch your The Bachelor or whatever. 😴

    • John Kheit

      Apparently I must have watched ‘basic logic’ on TV to see your error in talking about the uptake of rapes coincident with increased ice cream sales.

      Regardless, prove you’re right by giving up the computer and internet first.

  5. gGrant

    pop.0 is too a video podcast… in the making.
    in the fullness of time, with infinite TMO monkeys available to him, one day Bryan will complete the process.

    #johnismostlywrong

  6. gGrant

    I think you’re making my point for me. We’re a lot closer to pop.0 ever being a video podcast than your example. 🤞

      • Goff256

        Oh, we’ll definitely cure this cold before they get around to making it a video podcast.

  7. gGrant

    I applaud John for his “The kids are alright” view of this, and while that’s possibly true, it’s not just the kids. Social isolation across the entire population has lead to adult addiction as well, to a degree that I’m not sure we’ll grow-out-of-it. We may, but I think this is different and more profound. As gambling addiction methods lead to a serious social problem, those same methods applied to social networks lead to a serious social addiction and problem. It hasn’t been properly identified, likely because there’s a lot of money in being able to manipulate public opinion – see how well the conventional media made-out before the internet stole their lunch. Advertisers and propagandists (legal again, thanks to Obama) are not about to kill the new golden calf. The internet being more diverse, their agenda are much harder to see and that’s just money in the bank, as long as nobody wakes up!

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