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United States Technology

Are Americans Addicted to Technology? 359

Posted by Zonk
from the i-actually-need-the-high-speed-internets-though dept.
jomammy writes "According to a recent Wired article, the majority of Americans are becoming increasingly dependant on their gadgets. High speed internet seems to be the one most determined to be a 'necessity'. A third of the country is said to pay more than $200.00 a month for their addiction, where 4 out of 10 pay between $100.00 and $150.00 a month. Other items in this list of 'gadgets' include, mp3 players, dvd players, laptops, handhelds, etc." How addicted are we? How addicted are you?
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Are Americans Addicted to Technology?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:54PM (#14330437)
    Help! I keep refreshing Slashdot! Oh no!
  • Spec-Tech-ular. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:54PM (#14330441)
    "According to a recent Wired article, the majority of Americans are becoming increasingly dependant on their gadgets."

    And Japan is what? In the dark ages?
    • Re:Spec-Tech-ular. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:16PM (#14330550)
      and europe doesnt like their cell-phopnes at _all_

    • You forgot about Poland.
    • Re:Spec-Tech-ular. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kpau (621891) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @12:26PM (#14332633)
      Okay... I've had it with the moronic misuse of the word "addicted". I guess most of the West is addicted to electricity, indoor plumbing, and the ability to communicate with each other. I use the Internet for work, shopping, play, education, and research. It is a conduit. People who call this an addiction are just modern day Luddites or those refusing to come out of the water and check out the spooky "dry land". And what about all those "non-Western" countries that find the Internet vital to their infrastructure?
  • addiction (Score:5, Funny)

    by Clover_Kicker (20761) <clover_kicker@yahoo.com> on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:55PM (#14330443)
    I can quit any time I want.
  • Pfft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by seinman (463076) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:55PM (#14330444) Homepage Journal
    Oh, please. This is just more useless drivel written to sell magazines. Just because something makes your life easier or more fun, doesn't mean everyone is "addicted" because they enjoy using it. Are Americans adicted to tooth brushes, too? 99% of us admit to using them at least daily! OH NO!
    • Re:Pfft (Score:2, Insightful)

      by umbrellasd (876984)
      Yes, internet is becoming a public utility. It's like saying that the phone is an addictive device. I suppose it could be. So could anything whether it's a technology or not. Are you addicted to a juicer? A blender? Are you addicted to a hammer (maybe you're a carpenter and can't live without one). Not a very insightful article.

      I read a lot of books. Guess that's a technology since it requires a printing press. Guess I'm an addict.

      • How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Belial6 (794905) on Friday December 23, 2005 @11:12PM (#14330761)
        How about electricity, indoor plumbing, toilets in general. Don't forgent anything to do with farming. Plows, harvesters, trucks to ship food. I would say that if all technology disappeard tomorrow, 99% of the population would die. So, yes we are addicted, as most of the world is.
    • Re:Pfft (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rolfwind (528248)
      I think a more compelling question would be: Is all this technology making us more productive? Or does it simply facilitate our slacking off with more diversions?
      • Re:Pfft (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Vellmont (569020) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:28PM (#14330595) Homepage

        I think a more compelling question would be: Is all this technology making us more productive? Or does it simply facilitate our slacking off with more diversions?

        What a strange way to think of life. Is life all about being "productive"? I'd have thought the gadgets are supposed to make our lives better, however you wish to define better. Making it more productive makes it sound as if the only purpose to being alive is work and produce a product. Is that really what you think it's all about?
        • Re:Pfft (Score:4, Funny)

          by flyonthewall (584734) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:45PM (#14330660)
          Until you reach the magic number of 42 it is.

          Squeek!

        • Re:Pfft (Score:3, Interesting)

          by flosofl (626809)
          Making it more productive makes it sound as if the only purpose to being alive is work and produce a product.

          That's seems to be the pervading theme in our (US) culture. I work for a multi-national, and I can say that my contemporaries in Europe and SA don't have the same attitude. I'm not saying they do bad work or don't work hard. It's simply they seem to view work as a means to an end, where the US seems to view work as that end.
          • Re:Pfft (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Nutria (679911)
            That's seems to be the pervading theme in our (US) culture. I work for a multi-national, and I can say that my contemporaries in Europe and SA don't have the same attitude. I'm not saying they do bad work or don't work hard. It's simply they seem to view work as a means to an end, where the US seems to view work as that end.

            Three words: Puritan Work Ethic.

            Even if you're born in California, and your parents are New Age weirdos, the phrases "a little work never killed anyone" and "no one ever drowned in their
        • Re:Pfft (Score:4, Informative)

          by rolfwind (528248) on Friday December 23, 2005 @11:12PM (#14330762)
          What a strange way to think of life. Is life all about being "productive"? I'd have thought the gadgets are supposed to make our lives better, however you wish to define better. Making it more productive makes it sound as if the only purpose to being alive is work and produce a product. Is that really what you think it's all about?


          What a strange way of extrapolating productive.

          I didn't only mean work, I simply meant "Yielding favorable or useful results; constructive."

          It need not be work-related.

          Is excercise machine X (gadget) more productive (toward losing weight, staying healthy) than the simple and humble jumprope and stretching exercises/yoga/pilates/your_choice? The former being an expensive gadget and the other can be very, very cheap.

          IMHO, the cheap-o version is better in most cases.

          The purpose of gadgets should be making lives easier, but most of the time, the majority seem to exist for the purpose of being sold, with little regard to the end user - consider the UI and other factors.
          • Re:Pfft (Score:3, Informative)

            by Vellmont (569020)
            Productive.. product. When you're productive you're efficient at producing something. It's not a strange way of extrapolating the word at all, but exactly what the word means. It's also a word constantly used to describe work efficiency as in "increasing productivity", especially when technology is used.
          • Re:Pfft (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Gulthek (12570)
            I didn't only mean work, I simply meant "Yielding favorable or useful results; constructive."

            As yes. Results. Like in the private sector. If Jack is only playing so that he can work better then he isn't really playing is he?
          • Re:Pfft (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Is excercise machine X (gadget) more productive (toward losing weight, staying healthy) than the simple and humble jumprope and stretching exercises/yoga/pilates/your_choice? The former being an expensive gadget and the other can be very, very cheap.

            IMHO, the cheap-o version is better in most cases.


            As a former fat guy who is now decently non-fat and knows a couple people in the same condition, your HO is wrong in at least three cases that I know of. The feedback given by Machine X in the form of calories b
      • Re:Pfft (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) <.akaimbatman. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:50PM (#14330679) Homepage Journal
        Is all this technology making us more productive?

        Ah, how I wish I could take you back in a time machine to the late 60's, then the 1920's. On our first stop in the 60's, I'd take you around various companies and show you the massive number of keypunchers, programmers, analysts, and other Managment Information Systems people who keep their companies working. I'd then take you to a company too small for a mainframe and let you witness the poor fellows struggle with mountains of paperwork.

        On our next stop, we'd drop by the 1920's. No automation here. You can literally find hundreds of typists per company, all lined up in rows. Secretaries abound, filing documents left and right. Personal assistents follow company executives around, keeping track of every minor detail. In short, lots of manpower for a return that we can realize today with a few PCs and other electronic gadgets.

        I haven't even gotten into manufacturing, and how technology has changed the world there.

        In short, technology has made us more productive. It doesn't always seem like it with all the technological distractions we now have, but you have to understand that the efficiency of modern technology is what gives us time and energy for those distractions. The greatest challenge today is to find better ways of optimizing business and personal matters. All the low-hanging fruit has already been realized, so we're on to the difficult part of squeezing out efficiency a few percent at a time.
        • Re:Pfft (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Thangodin (177516) <elentar@@@sympatico...ca> on Friday December 23, 2005 @11:34PM (#14330847) Homepage
          Exactly right. We have become more efficient--so much so that the four day work week has been a serious economic consideration since the 80's. The reason is that we have so much technological leverage that the only alternative is to create mountains of useless garbage and convince people that they need it... oh, right, this would include all those technological gadgets. :) But wander through a super department store sometimes and ask yourself, if half of this stuff disappeared tomorrow, would anyone really miss it? Choice isn't of much benefit if most of what is being offered is bad, and it's hard to tell the difference. Even brand names mean nothing now; when was the last time you were able to buy a good pair of Levis? A lot of this stuff is just landfill--either nobody buys it, and it goes directly into the trash, or someone buys it, and discovers that it's trash shortly thereafter. Either way, it's garbage--wasted time, energy, and resources.

          But when you consider how much time people waste with technology, you should also consider that executives could and did waste the same amount of time via their manpower driven alternatives, requesting pointless information, endless re-edits of documents (requiring the secretarial pool to retype the same document, with minor changes, over and over,) and maintaining expensive entourages that required far more time to manage than you can spend instant messaging your friends. And I do mean required--you don't have to instant message your friends, but you did have to manage your staff.

          My wife worked at a law firm. The old lawyers, not comfortable with technology, used their computers to play solitaire, while dictating into tape recorders and getting secretaries to type the letter, over and over and over again as they read it and noticed mistakes. The younger lawyers typed their letters directly into their computer, edited it there, and got exactly what they wanted directly. The old guard took three days to produce the letter, the young ones took half an hour. The difference in efficiency, and sheer cost, is staggering. Of course, the old boys just passed these costs on to their clients...
    • Re:Pfft (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kebes (861706) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:27PM (#14330591) Journal
      I agree. We are not "addicted" to technology or gadgets or music or food or any number of other things that enrich our lives. I have a friend in psychology (actually neuroscience), and he often emphasises that in diagnosis, the difference between "something you like" and "addiction" is "does it disrupt the person's ability to live their life?" If the thing in question makes the person do questionable things, hurt themselves, or otherwise make it difficult for them to live a normal and happy life, then it is addiction (similarly, most psych conditions, like "depression" are analyzed in terms of how much it affects a person's ability to live their life, achieve their goals, etc.).

      All of this to say that you cannot classify our like of technology as an "addiction." Are we selling our first-born children in order to satisfy our lust for new gadgets? Hardly. Is this fixation with technology making it difficult for us to live our lives? No. (In fact the technology sometimes makes our lives easier--hence it is a (partially) pragmatic desire.)

      I find the hyperbole of "we are addicted to X" annoying (where X, these days, is often "video games" or "the internet" or whatever). I don't go into convulsions when I don't read slashdot for a day. I am employable and happy. I certainly wouldn't be stealing TVs and selling them on the black market in order to satisfy my insane lust for slashdot...
    • How about that whole 'it costs $200 per month to pay for this addiction' crap.

      Just buying 1 laptop could account for an entire year. Is buying 1 laptop an addiction nowadays?

      Guys it is a slow newsday. This reporter needed his christmas bonus so he put in a small non-article with a nice headline that while at the same time being properly alarmist is also nice and safe not to ruin the giftmas feeling.

      It also got iPod in it wich is always good.

      Bleh.

    • Re:Pfft (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hawkeyeMI (412577) <brockNO@SPAMbrocktice.com> on Saturday December 24, 2005 @12:32AM (#14331041) Homepage
      I went to Niger this summer, where I was even out of range of the nearest cell tower, had no electricity, and was surrounded by goats and chickens. I spent two weeks without most of the technology I'm used to, and that's a lot of technology.

      You know what? I didn't mind one bit. No withdrawl symptoms. Strand me in a city in the US though, and I'd start to feel the pain. It seems like it's partly a function of the environment.
  • by cygnus (17101) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:55PM (#14330445) Homepage
    How addicted are we? How addicted are you?
    shut up shut up shut up!!

    :)

  • by PasteEater (590893) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:58PM (#14330458)
    Well, I'm on vacation and I'm reading Slashdot.

    That about says it all.
  • Hey.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by 88NoSoup4U88 (721233) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:58PM (#14330459)
    Are Americans Addicted to Technology?

    They misspelled 'porn'.

  • by taskforce (866056) on Friday December 23, 2005 @09:59PM (#14330467) Homepage
    Does dependant necessarily == addicted?

    If this is the case, am I addicted to food?

    • I think the coloquial use of the word "addiction" implies no dependence, but dictionary.com says (sorry, I didn't renew my OED)

      "
      1. To cause to become physiologically or psychologically dependent on a habit-forming substance: The thief was addicted to cocaine.
      2. To occupy (oneself) with or involve (oneself) in something habitually or compulsively: The child was addicted to video games.
      "

      I'd say by both definitions, you ARE addicted to food. You're physiologically d
    • If this is the case, am I addicted to food?

      Yes, you are. So what? Addictions aren't always bad.
    • Probably.

      If you give up food, withdrawl is going to be a bitch.
  • I think what they're trying to say is that we are addicted to out little electronic gadgets. (Time for me to get off the computer and go back to having a real life) Literally speaking, technology has been around since man learned to craft a spear from sticks and flint.
  • Yes, yes we are. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ruff_ilb (769396) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:00PM (#14330475) Homepage
    And this is NOTHING to be concerned about. Technology is defined as: " 1. The application of science, especially to industrial or commercial objectives. 2. The scientific method and material used to achieve a commercial or industrial objective. " Ok - FIRE is a technology. So are things as simple as forks, or spoons, or plates. The human race is addicted to technology, for better or for worse. America's only addicted to the most recent advancements more than the rest of the world. There is nothing wrong with this "Addiction" - They say it like it's a bad thing. Without technology, we'd still be running around like apes.
    • Without technology, we'd still be running around like apes.

      Even with technology, most still run around like apes.

      How many use the technology without regard for how it works? An ape who picks up a twig to catch termites is using technology.

      Most don't care to understand technology, they are only interested in consuming it. If all were lost tomorrow, how long would it take for us (humanity) to return to this (our current) level of technology? 2000 years?...more?
    • Re:Yes, yes we are. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lesrahpem (687242)
      Yeah, I'd say we are addicted to technology. We're a narcissistic people who are obsessed with the things we have created. I don't mean just Americans, I mean humans in general. It's perfecttly normal. The only way it becomes dangerous is when we reach a point where we rely on technology so much we literally could not survive without it.

      People can say all they like about technology causing people to slack off, but there is no reason why it shouldn't. Why build things that can make work easier when we can
  • How addicted are you?

    I don't have any problems with addiction. In a weird coincidence though, if I'm away from my computer for more than 10 minutes mysterious bugs appear and start crawling under my skin. Weird, huh?

  • by mrchaotica (681592) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:02PM (#14330482)
    ...but is it, really? Yes, we're dependent on our technology, but calling it an "addiction" is merely one perspective. Instead, couldn't we just as easily call it symbiosis? It could be that we're taking the first steps towards becoming cyborgs, or something.
    • "Addiction is defined by continued behavior in the face of adverse consequence." -Dr. Drew

      Until we have some adverse consequence, one that's not immediately offset by the actual benefits technology brings to our lives, we can't even start referring to this as addiction.
  • by Irvu (248207) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:02PM (#14330485)
    If we are talking cliniacal definitions of addiction, i.e. falsely convinced that we cannot live without something and willing to orob/maim/kill/destroy our lives, to obtain it then it depends. I think ther we need to specify the technology in question.

    If we are talking a general "growing too soft/dependent upon specific tech" then I would say yes, especially with the internet. I know far too many people who feel the need to have a machine up all the time.

    But I think we should really go more basic than that; Electricity.

    The standards that we are used to in America, and the rest of the industrialized world (stable, widely available power that rarely if ever goes down) is a) uncommon in the rest of the world, and b) an anomoly in human existence. Few of my peers know how to make a fire or even what to do when the power goes down (hint, the electric can opener will no longer work).

    The level of panic surrounding the Y2k bug should have made this clear to anyone. Far too many people (some of them policymakers) panicked at the thought of "global power outages" and, as Katrina showed, far too many were left stranded, unprepared, and unaided when a real disaster struck.

    In my opinion "addiction" to mp3 players is just icing on the cake.

      in general)I know too many others who *have no clue*
    • They have pills that will take care of that for you. See you doctor.
    • The reason people were "left stranded, unprepared, and unaided when a real disaster struck" when Katrina hit was because they were dependant on the government, not technology.
      • by Irvu (248207) on Friday December 23, 2005 @11:09PM (#14330754)
        I so love that phrase because it suggests weakness of some sort. As if governments didn't exist to protect and help the people and anyone who thinks otherwize deserves a rude awakening.

        In the case of Katrina the very government agencies that we have formed, funded and trained to care for the sick, the elderly, the disposessed of our society, were placed in the hands of self-centered morons whose only interest was in settling the "shirtsleeves up or down" issue. People who could not leave because they were too sick and didn't own cars were being told to "take some cash and drive away". Even now no reliable plan exists to get them home and Karl Rove is directing the reconstruction efforts.

        We form governments to protect us as a whole, because individual humans, however many guns they have, are weak and likely to die. To suggest that people who looked to the government that they supported to help them were "weak" or overly dependent" is in my opinion incorrect. Rather wwe should say that the government failed the people. The government failed in its most essential function. What's worse it did so because people let it fail, perhaps even made it fail not because it should not have succeeded.
  • Sort of silly, but why consider just Americans as being addicted to technology? What about people in Japan or Hong Kong (I know it's a City)? Net cafes in Seoul? Super Hi-NRG Euro Techno?

    I suppose America is the land of $150 monthly Cable TV bills-- that probably has alot to do with it?
    • Because it sells better. An article claiming that in all developed countries people get addicted to technology is just too obvious a story title. But if its restrained to one country, people ask why, and buy the magazine. Only to realise that they've again been outsmarted by Capt. Obvious.

  • by SoupIsGood Food (1179) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:03PM (#14330492)
    Compared to the insanely cool, science-fiction advanced consumer tech, everything from cell phones to high-speed internet available in Europe, Japan and South Korea, the US is dowdy and backwards. Cingular ain't got squat on DoMoCo, and even a Mielle washer/dryer set is lightyears ahead of the stone-age clunkers Kenmore and Maytag inflict on the American household.

    When it comes to technology obsession, the High Street in London and the Akihabara in Tokyo are where it's at.

    SoupIsGood Food
    • Hmmm...that was true years ago, but now the most popular cell phones in Japan are the same ones being sold in the US, China, Europe, etc., all at the same time - right now the most popular Japanese cell phone is the Sony Ericsson model, although granted the previous entry of the line (the 800) isn't available in the US.

      I think it's more or less true with every technology. There's little reason not to release the product world-wide, as there's world-wide demand for tech gadgets. Sure some countries have s

    • Compared to the insanely cool, science-fiction advanced consumer tech, everything from cell phones to high-speed internet available in Europe, Japan and South Korea, the US is dowdy and backwards. Cingular ain't got squat on DoMoCo, and even a Mielle washer/dryer set is lightyears ahead of the stone-age clunkers Kenmore and Maytag inflict on the American household.

      That's because the US is very fond of wasting ressources. It also wastes space with urban sprawl, huge houses that cost a fortune.

      In Europe

  • Yes. Absolutely. I'm looking at this on my new 21" LCD (yea, buddy!) while I listen to my iPod. I am waiting for a call on my bluetooth-enabled cellphone. I am downloading Knoppix with my laptop. My PocketPC is chirping because my alarm clock is going off. My MythTV box is currently recording the latest offerings from Science Channel. Tomorrow night, I will be setting up my four-old son's new computer in his room (complete with wi-fi, of course).

    I could not imagine my life without said items. Seriously. I w
  • by stonebeat.org (562495) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:05PM (#14330501) Homepage
    i have friend whose dad is a tech junkie. All kinds of gadgets high-speed, workstation laptops etc. One day his son (my friend) got fed with it all, and moed to middle of Mojave desert, where he get no electricity, and certainly no television signal. And he has to drive 5 miles just to get to the closest payfone.

    But his daughter, who has doesn't even know what a television is, is very wise for her age (i.e. 7 yrs). Here, I make a distinction between knowledge and wisdom. She may not have all the knowledge, but she is certainly wiser then other kids of her age or even some grown ups.

    Would you do something like this? Would you make such a daring move for you children's sake?
    • by kebes (861706) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:35PM (#14330626) Journal
      Would you make such a daring move for you children's sake?

      You are purposefully implying, with this question, that it is a good thing (to prevent your child from using technology). Would I do something daring for the sake of my child? You bet. Do I think that removing them from technology represents a case where the child is better off? No.

      Your one data point notwithstanding, I believe that a person is more likely to be happy, healthy, and intelligent if they have access to the full depth and breadth of what the world has to offer (including such things as: travelling to other countries, modern healtcare, books of all types, the internet, learning different languages, etc.).

      Restricting a child's access to tools is silly. Smart kids will be smart no matter what. Giving them access to more of the world will make them more worldly.
    • So, in a world where every single job that pays more than minimum wage requires computer interaction, he's crippling her development of important skills?

      If I was the government, I'd take his child away from him.
  • by Hannah E. Davis (870669) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:06PM (#14330504) Journal
    On one hand, yes I'm addicted -- I can barely go a day without at least briefly connecting to the internet, and I don't even want to know how many hours I've logged playing my little gnome mage on World of Warcraft.

    However, for many of us, the dependence is more than just a regular old physical/psychological addiction. My marks at school, for example, depend on my being able to get on a computer and access the internet on a regular basis. Many assignments are made available solely through a class website or WebCT, and in two of my classes this past term, every single assignment had to be handed in via the Unix handin command (or the web-based Windows equivalent). Admittedly, I am a computer science student, but there aren't all that many courses in which computers or other forms of technology are completely absent -- even arts students are expected to write essays, and few professors will accept handwritten submissions these days.
  • Yes. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Valar (167606) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:07PM (#14330509)
    I'm addicted to fire, electricity, housing, cooked food and sharpened metal tools.

    Or maybe sometimes technology improves your life so you use it.

    Addiction is when something makes your life worse, but you keep using it because you are irrationally drawn to it.
  • Those crazy Japanese typically have at least 100 Mbps up/down connections for usually less than $30USD a month, while we suffer with 6M down/512k up (if you're very lucky that is) for prices at least double that of Japan's. This holds true for where I live (Chicago, near O'Hare even), so don't give that "Japan is highly dense" bullshit.

    And all those Korean kids playing Starcraft, some even dying as a result. So I'm going to say, "No, America does not have a technology addiction."

  • Honestly, I love the internet and computers in general. But I consider it more of a habbit or routine than an addiction. Every morning I check my email while I have some juice. Then I get to work and check it again. At lunch I read the news online and do some more emailing....etc.

    Yet, on days when I don't have my usual routine (like weekends) I often don't even touch a computer until sometime in the afternoon. And then it is just because I feel bad thinking someone might be waiting for a reply, or mayb
  • Wow Internet is expensive down south. Up here in Canada its between $20 to $50 for DSL or cable including the modem rental. I read somewhere Canada was claiming the worlds cheapest Internet, was some brochure or something.

    That shows how governments need to nationalize the net, provide it to everyone for free. Then they can make do without forms for businesses, taxes etc.

    I'm not addicted to cell phones, pdas, mp3 players, TV. I dont have that list (company provided cell phone). I'm a little addicted to the a
    • Re:$200 a month!!! (Score:3, Informative)

      by C0deM0nkey (203681)
      That $200.00 a month is likely for the total tech consumption (i.e. Internet access plus all you spend on tech toys, gadgets and related services) for the month - not for internet access. Internet access is between $20.00 and $50.00 a month - just like up north.
    • Its the same here.

      However I could get FIOS fiber as well which is 3-15megs a second from anywhere from twice as much to $100 a month on the fastest speed and no upload caps. Also my cell phone bill was outrageously high from an exgf calling me during a bad breakup that equaled $200. I am tempted to hand her the bill for christmas. But I can do that charge easily.

      Many spend hundreds a month on Itunes as well purchasing music.

      Dont even start with the loans for things like computers and powerbooks. Damn I want
    • Wow Internet is expensive down south.

      Wow you didn't read the article.

      That bill includes telephone, internet, and TV feeds. In much of the US DSL is down to $14.95, and high speed cable or FIOS is running about $50 for a 15 mb/sec feed in some areas. My cable service just announced a 30 mbit/sec premium service, and has hinted at 50 mbit/sec.

  • by renimar (173721) on Friday December 23, 2005 @10:10PM (#14330523)
    By that reasoning, we must also be addicted to taxes, because I know I pay well more than $200/month in income, sales and other taxes. Who do I talk to about giving up taxes?
  • First America is too slow in adopting broadband [slashdot.org], now we are addicted? Either these articles are just trolling or we made a really quick turnaround...

    But then again this is Wired News + /., so what do you expect?

    BTW, from TFA... "The bill for being thoroughly plugged in to entertainment and communications runs more than $200 a month for a third of the households in this country. Four in 10 spend between $100 and $150 a month, according to the poll of 1,006 adults taken Dec. 13-15."

    Is it really news no

  • Japaneses, Koreans, Germans, Englishs, Aussies, French, Polish, Finnish, Swedes, Norwegians, Dutch, Flatlanders, Spaniards, Porteguese, Italians and God knows how many other countries that have dipped into the Internet.

    Leave me along and let me go back to my Crackberry.

    Sheesh!
  • There is NO WAY I'm going to actually figure out my monthly budget for electronics. If it weren't for all the junk clipped to my belt, stuck in my ears, clamped to my head, installed in my car, wired into my walls, broadcasting into the air, and sewn into my clothes (not to mention the 500 pounds of normal computer gear on my desk), I could probably retire at 35.
  • Once something becomes an ingrained part of life, it stops being something we're considered "addicted" to. But ask anyone from a developing nation whether it seems odd that most everyone here owns at least one vehicle from the age of 16 onward and see if some of them don't describe our use of cars as an "addiction".
  • At my job we can't do a damn thing without internet access..... so we keep some beer in the fridge for days when the net is just too damn slow to get any work done. If it was an all guy office we'd probably sit around drinking beers and playing some lan games... but as we have a few hot girls in the office it invariably turns into a flirt and bad joke day ;-p not that I'm complaining...

  • I have to answer my cell phonce, txt my friend and check my email first.
  • While some species show an ability to use makeshift "tools", we as a species are tool makers. We fashion artifacts equisitely suited to a purpose. Those who now speak of adapting well and quickly to new technology as addiction would likely speak of earlier Europeans as "addicted" to firearms.

    An addiction is a reliance that is detrimental to an individual's homeostatic health.

    The crap journalism that flashes hot terms to flaunt specious thinking to sell advertising space may be a better description of addic

  • by DeadPrez (129998)
    Right now the Tivo I gave my mother is "broken" because the channel lineup data is missing or wrong (possibly the wrong cable data is being pushed out). We tried changing the dialup number a couple times and have it now set to the 800 number, all to no avail.

    But we have become so used to having Tivo record based on the Season Pass feature that it is difficult to go back to using the native remote and the cable box's software. My sister who is visiting for Christmas asked a similar question the Slashdot ar
  • Been refreshing all day to get the new Slashdot article you guys! This is my comment. Hi Mom!

    Ok now the race begins for the next article.
    F5. F5. F5. F5. F5. F5. F5. F5. F5. F5. F5. F5.
  • it's not an addiction to a particular thing as it is to distraction in general

    i've read numerous studies on national happiness (i admit to being well on the periphery of my country's politics and viewpoints and values -- so i'm no where near happy) and the US has yet to rank in so much as the top 10.

    what's also amusing is while apparently consumption of Shiny Things(tm) is up so are prescpritions for the attention getting of both adults and children.

    no i didn't read the article.
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Friday December 23, 2005 @11:19PM (#14330783)
    Case: email Case: IM Case: online gaming Case: forums Case: surfing Case: RSS Case: interactive purchasing Case: downloading entertainment Case: blogging Case: social infrastructure Go on. Run the sieve. Tell me what's not addictive. We're social and interactive creatures. Ask the question again. What knid of dumbass question is this? Yo: Cowboy Neal--> learn to ask a reasonable question.
  • Steps backwards (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @12:16AM (#14330984) Homepage
    Some things are getting harder.

    My vetenarian was complaining today that she used to have a system which used Ricochet, a dumb terminal in her truck, and a Xenix server in her office to access horse medical records remotely. This provided a 38Kb/s connection. Since Ricochet went out of business, that's no longer possible. Data over cellular is less available, slower, harder to set up, and more expensive. Yes, you can set up a VPN, and "web enable" the server, but it's more trouble than it is worth.

    • Re:Steps backwards (Score:3, Informative)

      by jcnnghm (538570)
      The Ricochet service was well ahead of its time. I was able to get about a 512 kilobit connection reliably in my house from the service a few years before I could get either DSL or cable modem service. Still couldn't get DSL or cable internet until well after Ricochet went under.

      The only problem with Ricochet is that I am almost certain I was the only person in my neighborhood that even new the service existed.

      A father once asked his son what he was going to do with a movie theater he had purchased. The
  • Forest people (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Maljin Jolt (746064) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @01:43AM (#14331230) Journal
    Forest tribes are addicted to technology just like americans. They cannot live without bows, arrows, and fire tools.
  • by bdigit (132070) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @01:51AM (#14331245)
    I am typing this comment from my toilet on my laptop... oh and I'm American
  • by floki (48060) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @08:18AM (#14331915)
    If one defines addiction as not being able to live without something then the military is definitely addicted to technology. A friend of mine during his military service took part in a joint training involving various of armies from NATO states. He always said the easiest thing to do was to secretly snitch the American's GPS devices. They were totally lost without them. Just his 2 cents.
  • a terrible article (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zebra_X (13249) on Saturday December 24, 2005 @11:59AM (#14332537)
    from the article:

    Some people freely admit to being high-tech junkies.

    "The internet connection is my lifeline," said Jennifer Strother, a mother of two young children who lives in Smithfield, Virginia. "It's the connection to friends, e-mail -- especially for stay-at-home moms. I'm hungry for adult conversation and any news that isn't Dora the Explorer or Blue's Clues."


    How is this an admission to being a hi tech junkie? The very reason for her use of the internet is not tech, but communication. As with most of the article the authors attempt to classify us as "junkies" fails. He or she fails to see that for the most part, tech purchases are so that we may consume media such as TV or Music or communicate with others. This is not an hi tech additiction as the author would have us believe, because the technology itself is not the motivator for purchase.
  • by samantha (68231) * on Monday December 26, 2005 @05:40AM (#14339054) Homepage
    Only dweebs that think only in terms of "consumer electronics" and some model of sin if we aren't using manual typewriters would miss the fact that internet, cell phones, home computers, etc. help us do what we do a lot more productively and with a lot more information and convenience. The face of media is changing as increasingly all of us browse and share information and opinions. The entire face of business has changed. Large sections of how we socialize and with whom have changed to include a much larger circle. Are we "addicted" to more abundant and productive living? You bet! And as long as there is an ounce of gumption and worth in us we will continue to be. It is a good thing.

"The Mets were great in 'sixty eight, The Cards were fine in 'sixty nine, But the Cubs will be heavenly in nineteen and seventy." -- Ernie Banks

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