iPhone Addiction


Nowadays where ever you turn your head there is at least one person on their phone or digital device. And if they don’t have their phones directly out they are talking to people through Bluetooth devices stuck in their heads. I still think sometimes that people are talking to you until you notice the little ear piece on the other side of their heads. iPhones have become increasingly popular over the past few years despite Apples early beginning of a so called cult brand. I have to admit that I too fell into the following and purchased an iPhone a year ago. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I began to realize that this phone has begun to permanently attach itself to my hand. I find myself constantly on my phone using it for work, school, or even just pleasure. Have I too become addicted to the iPhone?


According to the Huffington Post, there was study done by Stanford on iPhone users becoming increasingly addicted to their phones. Interestingly enough according to the study, “[o]nly six percent of students said they weren’t at all addicted to the device, whereas a full 10 percent said they were fully addicted, and 34 percent gave themselves a ‘four’ on the five-point scale.” I wonder were the other 50% falls.

In relation to the video the study also showed, “[h]owever, as students are using the iPhones to arrange their social lives, they must be careful to not let their addiction create a backlash: Seven percent of the students reported roommates or partners who felt neglected due to the respondent’s iPhone use, giving rise to the term ‘iPhone widow’ for those people who feel as though they’ve lost their significant other to the iPhone.” Just as the video depicts the study confirmed that there are ‘iPhone widows’ out there. Even though the risk to iPhone addiction are prevalent the gains of iPhone addiction need to be noted as well. According to the study it also found, that “[m]any of the reported ‘side-effects’ of iPhone use are positive as 70 percent reported being more organized, 54 percent were more productive and 74 percent just felt ‘cool’ having an iPhone”. Do you think the benefits far outweigh the cost of iPhone addiction? I think there is a fine balance between the benefits and cost, which people need to find individually because for every person this balance will be different.

You can also check out this study done by Retrevo: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/05/study-paints-iphone-users_n_346644.html


According to the New York Times Martin Lindstorm, “[t]his past summer, I gathered a group of 20 babies between the ages of 14 and 20 months. I handed each one a BlackBerry. No sooner had the babies grasped the phones than they swiped their little fingers across the screens as if they were iPhones, seemingly expecting the screens to come to life. It appears that a whole new generation is being primed to navigate the world of electronics in a ritualized, Apple-approved way.”

I thought this study was also interesting. I have a three year old cousin and he uses his mothers iPhone to play games. It’s amazing how he knows how to work it and exactly which buttons to press. I thought I heard another study mention that Apple made the iphone like that so that it was more easy to use, but I am not sure where I heard it from. I wonder though if it is a safe for children to use these devices at such a young age. Maybe we are grooming them too young and they should spend their childhood running around and playing with their friends in the great outdoors.

The article also mentioned, “[p]hantom vibration syndrome is the term I use to describe our habit of scrambling for a cellphone we feel rippling in our pocket, only to find out we are mistaken.” I thought it was interesting that they actually had a diagnosis for this syndrome. I notice sometimes that this effect happens to me throughout the day. I think my phone vibrated or rang and when I go to check there is nothing. I wonder if this also has anything to do with the iPhone addiction, which I am almost certain that it does.

I thought it was interesting to read about iPhone addiction and hopefully I don’t land in the 10 percent that believe they are fully addicted to their iPhones. I’m almost certain that in the near future we will be seeing these numbers raise and possibly an epidemic may occur. I think culturally we are forced to be addicted to our iPhones. Jobs are constantly forcing you to be available 24hours a day through any means whether its phones, messing, email, skype, etc. It just cannot be helped. The iPhone addiction is probably becoming a bigger problem than the texting problem I mentioned earlier.



Cyber Bullying


Social media sites have created the ideal place for cyber bullying to occur. Technology has allowed bullies another route to bully others. Cyber bullying has caused many deaths like Ryan Halligan who committed suicide after being bullied on the internet. Cyber bullying has also become more public which is why Ryan’s father John Halligan wants to raise awareness so that parents can avoid the mistakes his family made. http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-berks/Father-of-cyberbullying-victim-shares-personal-story/-/121418/12304676/-/w1bqx5/-/index.html  

So, what is being done to prevent cyber bullying? Interestingly enough according to the New York Times there is legislation in place to cut down on cyber bullying. “The 2010 legislation, called the Dignity for All Students Act, goes into effect July 1. It will require school districts to report instances of bullying to the state Education Department, and also mandates that schools adopt programs to counter bullying.” http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/04/27/should-cyberbullying-be-a-crime/  Senator Jeffrey D. Klein even introduced a bill in January that would raise the punishment for some cases of cyber bullying to a felony with prison time if the threatening messages are sent by someone on school grounds.

I have noticed that cyber bullying has come up more often in the media today. I think it is good that the government is stepping in to reduce cyber bullying. I think the 2010 legislation called the Dignity for All Students Act is phenomenal. Just like regular bullying is discussed in schools I think there needs to be more of an emphasis on cyber bullying since it is currently such a “hot button” issue. However, I think more needs to be done to prevent cyber bullying and raising awareness to the issue.

I think what adds to the problem is that there is no feeling through the context of words. Like verbally you can tell when people are saying something sarcastic, but online you cannot tell if they are or they aren’t. I think people need to remember that old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”



Who calls people anymore? Nowadays people use text messaging to communicate with each other. Even in Digital American one day the professor told us to text in our opinions because nobody wanted to speak up in class. Just like videogames texting has become addicting as seen on MTV’s True Life I’m a Textaholic. These teenagers cannot stop texting even if it is hurting their relationships or even their physical self. One of the girls hand was hurting and her hand was damaged from all the texting, which could lead to carpal tunnel. So, what are the effects of texting?


According to the New York Times, texting has been known to lead to anxiety, causing a distraction in school, falling grades, repetitive stress injury and sleep deprivation. According to the article it is hard to produce conclusive data on health effects because texting is too recent according to the director of the Initiative on Technology and Self at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


However according to the Artesian Herald, texters show an inability to focus on having a conversation with someone in person because the find it difficult to be in the moment. On the flip side of the coin they stated that it has improved the quality of writing since 1990. What are your thoughts on texting? Good or bad?

I think texting has both its ups and is downs. I like texting because unlike calling you can relay your message to someone without them answering the phone. They can answer your text when they are available, whereas using the phone they need to answer you right away. I also like it when I am in an area that is hard to hear the other person. I can just text them and don’t have to worry about the noise. I don’t like texting because I believe just like in the Artesian Herald that people are beginning to show signs of the inability to hold up a conversation. Also, interestingly enough I know a few people who don’t like to text and prefer to use the phone. I also didn’t like texting because the buttons were small and I noticed my fingers started to hurt, even though I don’t text as much as those textaholics on MTV. Overall, I think texting is a good improvement in technology. I think though with everything just like the videogames users need to be more informed. I also think that like everything else texting is fine in moderation, but when you get addicted then it can be more harmful than beneficial. I do wish though that more people used the phone to actually make calls.

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)


In a mainly polygamist town in Bluffdale ,Utah construction is underway to build the Utah Data Center for the National Security Agency. This facility will secretly capture, store, and analyze vast quantities of words and images through the world’s telecommunications networks. They are planning on storing private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches in nearly bottomless databases. Doesn’t this “Utah Data Center” violate some kind of invasion of privacy act or something in the constitution or bill of rights? Well, interestingly enough the “total information program” created by the Bush administration was killed by congress in 2003 due to its potential for invading American privacy.



After further reading and research it became apparent that these are still just allegations that haven’t been proven. Although on first glance it already seems plausible. Prior to this class I haven’t heard anything about this in the media. Why isn’t this article and its topic more high publicized through the mass media?  Is there some accuracy in this article or is it just speculative?

Do you believe these allegations from Wired are accurate? http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/28/nsa-dismisses-claims-utah-data-center-watches-average-americans/  According to Fox News, Director General Keith Alexadender definitely said no to the allegations and the US doesn’t tap into citizens especially without a warrant. Do you think the Director General Keith Alexadender is telling the truth or is the government trying to hide something from us?

Who is james Bamford?


James Bamford who published the cover story for Wired has a way of digging up the facts that lend credence to America’s worst privacy fears about this government according to Forbes. According to Forbes, “he story adds confirmation to what the New York Times revealed in 2005: that the NSA has engaged in widespread wiretapping of Americans with the consent of firms like AT&T and Verizon.” Don’t you feel that it is harder to trust both the government as well as these big firms? Its seems to me that when these allegations arise the citizens can’t just help but speculate the endless possibilities.

I will admit that cyber attacks are definitely a threat to the United States. However, does this warrant the government spying on its own citizens? Although I don’t want to jump to conclusions, I cannot help but believe the facts in the article that the government is spying on us through various forms of telecommunications. The invasion of Americans privacy ultimately violates the constitution and bill of rights. If our government violates these rights and does tap into our personal lives this will not be America anymore. This country with just be another country where the citizens have no rights and the government is in full control. What will make us any different from the Chinese government, if these allegations are true? If that’s the case, we might as well have a communist style government because the people have absolutely no freedom at all under these allegations.


In a previous class we talked about hashtags. Prior to this class I had no knowledge of hashtags. Through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter I noticed that more people know were writing post using the # sign, however, I didn’t know it was called hashtags and what they were used for. After the class I decided to do some research on hashtags to familiarize myself with the term and how to effectively use the symbol. http://support.twitter.com/articles/49309# according to Twitter, “The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.” These hashtags helps categorize tweets and help them show up easily in a twitter search. The hashtag  can occur anywhere in the tweet, but no more than 2 hashtags should be used per tweet to prevent over-tagging. http://www.techforluddites.com/2009/02/the-twitter-hash-tag-what-is-it-and-how-do-you-use-it.html Interestingly enough, according to Tech for Luddites hashtags are not any kind of official Twitter function. There is not list of topics form twitter to browse through and it is based on twitter users to create their own unique hashtag that can be used by others. Tech for Luddites brought up an interesting question, where do hashtags come from?

http://gigaom.com/2010/04/30/the-short-and-illustrious-history-of-twitter-hashtags/ After doing further research I came across an article from GigaOM which stated “On August 23, 2007, the Twitter hashtag was born. Invented by Chris Messina (then with the consulting firm Citizen Agency, now an open web advocate for Google), the first tweet with a hashtag read as follows: “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?”  Interestingly enough hashtags were originally called channel tags. Messina said originally people didn’t understand hashtags and their biggest complaint was people didn’t like how they looked. Twitter execs even deemed channel tags (which was what hashtags were known as previously) and preferred to filter tweet topics. Hashtags breakout of the “geekosphere” as Messina recalls was after the 2007 when Republicans began seeking to keep congress in session to vote on an energy bill started tweeting with the hashtag #dontgo. Hashtags according to Messina are a simple solution to solve a problem without waiting for technology to solve the problem. Now hashtags are becoming more popular and in 2010 Twitter recorded 11% of tweets now contain hashtags. I’m sure by now this percentage is a lot higher then prior years. Currently Messina thinks hashtags are overused and should be different types of metadata markers and now “Slashtags” are the newest creation in the social networking arena. It was interesting to read about the slashtag and learn about its similarities to the hashtag.

I thought it was really interesting to learn more about hashtags and where they originated. Just like Messina I believe hashtags are overused. I am noticing that people are overusing hashtags and aren’t using it proper now that I know what hashtags are and how to properly use hashtags. I think people nowadays just put a pound symbol next to any important part of their tweet. I think its kind of like how people put lol at the end of everything and its just there and not because it’s actually funny. The pound symbol is just their cause everyone else is doing it. Do you think hashtags are overused? I wonder if the slashtag will begin another craze just like the hashtag.

South Park



From our previous lecture in class we watched a video clip from South Park where the characters spend countless hours trying to master the videogame. Throughout the film you notice that the characters get fatter and have more pimples and just don’t look so good. They also become lazy and need their mothers to do things for them. They are truly addicted to videogames and cannot get enough of it. Videogame addiction has become a real epidemic in today’s society. Although the American Psychological Association doesn’t recognize video game as a “real” disorder they are starting to recognize the problem and are beginning to accumulate respectable research. http://www.techaddiction.ca/video_game_addiction_statistics.html However according to Web MD an addiction treatment center in Amsterdam admit teenagers addicted to videogames. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/video-game-addiction-no-fun

Teenagers do not need to get hooked on drugs or alcohol to get addicted anymore all they have to do is play videogames.  Powerless to their addiction these teenagers need to be admitted to treatment to assist in gong cold turkey to break their dependence on videogames. I think this is really becoming an epidemic throughout the world and should be seen as a “real” disorder to help addicts. The lives of these videogame addicts are being taken away from them. Some addicts even play themselves to death. Since 2005 there have been 12 deaths from videogame addiction. They sit and play videogames for so long that the blood clots and they die. That too me is crazy. I have a hard time understanding how these people are addicted to videogames. However, I understand where they are coming from; I remember when I was younger and used to play videogames it was so hard to stop and you always wanted to catch the next pokemon.


According to MSNBC, “[u]p to 90 percent of American youngsters play video games and as many as 15 percent of them — more than 5 million kids.” How does this affect them medically, physically, personally? I could imagine that just like in the South Park video clip that video game addiction causes obesity, diabetes, and much more. http://www.video-game-addiction.org/video-game-addiction-articles/new-facts-about-video-game-addiction-problem-more-widespread-than-expected.htm videeo-game-addiction. org even states that  hand and wrist pain, poor hygiene, irregular eating habits occur from videogame addiction. Something that was once created for entertainment has now become an addictive substance just like drugs and alcohol. Something needs to be done to prevent these kids from becoming addicted. I think people need to be more informed about videogames to ensure that our children don’t become addicts.  I think these kids need to get out in the real world and play around outside just like we used to do before gameboys, wii, xbox’s and playstations. Another question I thought about was who is to blame for videogame addicts? The gamer or the game designer? I think this question is one of those questions like the saying “who came first? The chicken or the egg?” No one will ever know who is to blame for videogame addictions all we can do is move forward and try to prevent these addictions from occurring.




In class we learned about a site called Samasource. I was interested to learn more about the company and see what all the hype is about. http://vimeo.com/2550664 Leila Chirayath the co-founder of Samasource is in charge of outsourcing to countries like Napal and Kenya. When I first think about outsourcing I think about a loss of jobs in the United States. I think outsourcing has a negative connotation. Americans feel that outsourcing is creating less skilled job opportunities for the country. Don’t you think outsourcing creates fewer jobs for Americans? Is this why it is now harder to find lower skilled jobs? I know as a student it is now harder to find part time employment then prior years.  If jobs weren’t outsourced to other countries do you think that the unemployment rate would be less? Another thought that came to mind was if we didn’t outsource wouldn’t that keep the money circulating within our U.S. economy; therefore stimulating our own economy. Outsourcing just helps stimulate the other countries economy instead of our own. Why are we stimulating other countries economies when we can stimulate our own economy? Even though it is cheaper to outsource work to foreign countries, it is probably least beneficial in the long run. But as Americans we think about the now instead of what is best for our future. I also thought it was interesting that Leila Chirayath stated that there actually is a net gain, which for every $1 outsourced to other countries outside the U.S. brings in $1.12 values comes back to U.S. I don’t know if these figures are accurate, however, it these figures are true then outsourcing is actually good for the U.S.


According to CNET, Samasource is a nonprofit organization creating opportunities for refugees.  Independent experts claim that these new job opportunities create at least triple the wages of the other jobs that the refugees do. CNET also stated that the workers would get 50 cents a day pounding rocks in a rock quarry and now working for Samasource they can make $1-$2 an hour. If workers are only making $1-$2 an hour, who is actually benefiting here? Should these workers be making some equivalent to the minimum wage in America? $1-$2 an hour is not even close to the minimum wage in America of $7.75 an hour. Somewhere someone is making money and its not these refugees.

Now here is where I get confused. Samasource partnered with CrowdFlower and released an iphone application called GiveWork. CNET stated “that aims to make it possible for Americans with time on their hands to assist in making sure that the work being done by the refugees is accurate.” Now I’m just confused. Why do Americans need an iPhone application to check the accuracy of the work being done by refugees? If they are getting paid to do the work, then why isn’t there jobs accurate? Whats the point of having Americans check the work of refugees for accuracy? Why doesn’t Americans just do the work being outsourced instead of oursourcing the work and then checking the work for accuracy? Doesn’t this create an extra and unnecessary step? This would mean that it actually is more beneficial to not outsource and keep low skilled jobs in America where there is no need to double checking for accuracy.

CNET also stated” And that’s where the iPhone app comes in. Biewald said that those using the app can spend some of their spare time doing the same tasks as the refugees, which can help ensure that the final product is accurate.”  If the information isn’t accurate then what’s the point of outsourcing? And what American would want to spend their spare time using this app to help refugees do their work? These refugees are stealing American jobs I don’t think Americans would want to spend their free time helping them. Especially in this “dog eat dog” mentality that many Americans have.

At first glance I thought that Samasource was a good company trying to help impoverished countries by outsourcing work from America. After reading these articles and doing some research I don’t see the point of outsourcing and am beginning to believe that outsourcing has a negative connotation for a reason. The accuracy of the work in my opinion is not equivalent to the cheaper wages outsourcing provides. I would think it be worth more to pay for something that you known is going to be accurate. Why would you pay less for a car that you know is broken, when you can buy a more expensive used car that is working? Don’t they know the saying “it takes money to make money”? I don’t know sometimes I wonder what people are thinking.