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Smartphones & Todays Society

Amontae Arnold Dr. Deborah Reese English 1101 4 December 2013

In the essay The Age of Egocasting, the author Christine Rosen states that the technology we use has already changed our habits. Rosen talks about how the television remote for example, is almost required. In todays society, the Smartphone has become almost a necessity.

The author argues that by giving us the illusion of perfect control, these technologies risk making us incapable of ever being surprised. They encourage not the cultivation of taste, but the numbing repetition of fetish. And they contribute to what might be called egocasting, the thoroughly personalized and extremely narrow pursuit of ones personal taste.

Rosens Point

Smartphones are slowly turning everyone lazy, and are resulting in the development of a variety of bad habits. I use my Smartphone every single day for multiple purposes such as browsing the web, staying connected with friends via Facebook, and playing games.


For Example, According to one of the authors arguments, the Television remote has greatly influenced the further development in the world of the television as well as things surrounding it. An example of such would be the recliner brand La-Z-Boy is often linked to comfort that watchers should have. This is often stated through their advertisements.

The Remote Control

I completely agree with the idea that technology is taking over, especially the smartphone. Relating to the authors example, smartphones are being better equipped to combat the amount of physical activity. Take for instance the Apple iPhone. The creators at Apple have gone as far as to giving the ability to control your television and your computer straight from your phone. The ability to be able to navigate your music, only using your phone.

The reason that smartphones have become so vital in daily life is the convenience factor. People use it to browse the internet, check email, take pictures, as well as a variety of other things. Todays smartphones can do just about anything!
Meet the iPhone 5S! This phone allows you to access your phone using your fingerprint as a security feature!

Revolutionizing Convienence

(credit Apple Inc.)

Rosen also discusses the use of the TiVo in her article. A device that allows the user to stop, pause, play and record live television. She states that TiVo does not free us to watch less TV by eliminating waste; it seduces us with more TV by making television a more perfectly selfcentered experience. What she is saying is that the purpose of the TiVo (to record TV shows) is not the outcome. Though it is supposed to help us decide what to watch, it really serves as a way for people to have everything at once, giving us more options as well as reasons to watch the television conveniently and with minimal activity. The same thing can be said about the smartphone. Each feature that is added intending to make our lives more convenient only spoils us more. Each development made brings us closer and closer to a complete takeover, and people dont even realize it.

The Takeover

According to Nielsen's mobile report for Q3 of 2013

(Credit: Engadget News)

More and more teens have convinced their parents to get them smartphones, especially during back-toschool season. Usage of smartphone devices among those in the 13 to 17 yearold range has reached 70 percent, a nice 12 point growth over September last year. A extraordinary 79 percent of all users aged 18 to 24 are also toting smartphones, contributing to the 64.7 percent total of all US mobile owners who have now traded their feature phones for something more advanced.

Teens Lead Smartphone Takeover M&

(Credit: The Fine. Brothers)

Teens React to Smartphones

The smart phone is single handedly revolutionizing the technology world. The only thing that could remotely even come close would be the feature phone, but not even that can compare at this point. This year alone, Smartphone sales grew by 46.5%, reaching 225 million units worldwide, while the sale of feature phones dropped 21% to 210 million. (BBC UK)

Any competition?

"Smartphones accounted for 51.8% of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in Smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Feature phones will be a hard sell in about five to 10 years time Andrew Milroy Frost & Sullivan

Shipments for Smartphones this year are estimated to be about 39 percent higher than those in 2012, and will soar to almost 1.7 billion by 2017. (CNET News)

2013 Shipments

Rosen argues that technology can harm ones social skills, and that these devices (iPod, TiVo) possess too much personalization that could lead to shallow criticism, conformism, the destruction of political knowledge, as well as a lack of communication skills. She calls this egocasting ..a world where we exercise an unparalleled degree of control over what we watch and what we hear. We can consciously avoid ideas, sounds, and images that we dont agree with or dont enjoy.


In addition to the negative consequences of too much technology, Rosen brings to point the issue of declining health, both mental and physical especially in children. Some psychological researches that are in the article confirm that by stating that television viewing contributes to decreased attention spans and impatience with delay, as well as feelings of boredom and distraction. According to a study found in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutritional and Physical Activity, people who used their smartphones the most were more likely to disrupt physical exercise and scored lower on fitness assessments than those who used their phones less frequently.

Though the compact size and mobility of smartphones would seem to facilitate physical activity, the ever-present lure of e-mail, text messages, Facebook, Twitter, games, Pinterest, Instagram, surfing the web, sharing photographs or talking with friends and family is having the opposite effect for some. says Monte Morin of the LA Times

Yet another example of Rosens argument of the intention not being the outcome

Health Problems

According to Yahoo News, 38% (more than 1/3) of children as under 2 use smarthphones.
The percent of children who use mobile devices on a daily basis at least once a day or more has more than doubled, from 8% to 17%," according to the report.

Jim Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, spoke out to Mashable about the findings:
"We're seeing a fundamental change in the way kids consume media," Steyer said. "Kids that can't even talk will walk up to a TV screen and try to swipe it like an iPad or an iPhone."

"Smartphones Outsell Basic Feature Handsets." BBC News. BBC, 15 Aug. 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2013. Ricknas, Mikael. "Smartphones (finally!) Outsold Feature Phones Last Quarter." PCWorld. IDG News Service, 14 Aug. 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2013. Bradley, Tony. "Net Work." PCWorld. N.p., 16 Aug. 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2013. Whitney, Lance. "Smartphone Shipments to Surpass 1B This Year." CNET News. CBS Interactive, 26 Nov. 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. Fine, Benny, and Raphi Fine. "TEENS REACT TO SMARTPHONES." Teens React. The Fine Bros. Los Angeles, California, n.d. YouTube. YouTube, 27 Oct. 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. Moon, Marielle. "Majority of Mobile Users Now Use Smartphones, Blame Those Pesky Teens." Engadget. Engadget, 30 Oct. 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. News, Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo. "Study: 38 Percent of Kids under 2 Use Smartphones or Tablets." Yahoo! News. Yahoo!, 28 Oct. 2013. Web. 04 Dec. 2013. Morin, Monte. "Is Your Smartphone Making You Fat and Lazy?" Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. Rosen, Christine The Age of Egocasting. Word by Word: Custom Edition for Armstrong Atlantic State University. Ed. Nancy Remler. 114134. Print

Works Cited