Have you ever been to a party or other social event where you’re talking excitedly with someone who has no interest in mobile technology?
You’re bubbling over like warm champagne shooting out of a bottle on New Year’s Eve, while you start feeling “hey, this nerd couldn’t care less about technology. “I’m a mobile geek; he’s a technophobe“.
It happens a lot to me. As a blogger and podcaster, I talk with lots of people in the “tech business” –you know, pro-mobile people who love three hour conversations about Samsung OLED screens vs. iPhone 4 pixel counts. Or why mobile cloud computing will save the human race.
Inevitably, while in a car or at a social event, I get stuck having a conversation with someone whose appreciation of technology is limited to Cuisinart coffee makers. Pure apathy. Glazed-over eyes staring out windows. Expression-less faces. Definitely an anti-technology person, not a mobile geek.
Then I tell myself: “Brian, you’re boring this nerd to death. It feels like attending a funeral.” Of course, if I was at a funeral, I could at least meander off to the deceased in the coffin and have a one-way conversation about mobile streaming video. But no, I’m talking with a live person who couldn’t care less about mobile technology, someone who’s not wishing for a $400 smartphone at Christmas.
Mobile Tech Apathy Growing
So, what do you do when you have a burning question that’s causing gastric distress? Right, Google it.
And so I did. I searched for “mobile technology apathy,” resulting in over 500,000 Google hits in 1.7 seconds. Let me share a few of the juicier stories.
- “The Truth Behind Facebook’s Android Apathy” (BNET) – Chris Dannen complained about the lack of superior Facebook Android apps due to apathy at Facebook. He’s probably praying that Matt Zuckerberg will commission an Android app 10 times better than the iPhone’s. After all, over 60% of Facebook members access the site with their phones increasingly with Android devices.
- From the great continent of Africa, I read about “KuweniSerious Fighting the Evil Forces of Apathy.” Started by three Kenyans, the group’s slogan is “get serious…be real,” hoping young Africans will become more concerned about African poverty, the lowly status of women and other social issues, and then use technology to improve things. The mobile geeks want apathetic Kenyans to embrace technology and even created a short YouTube video about discrimination against women in Kenya.
- Digital marketing agency White Horse released a new survey about consumer interest in location-based services. 437 smartphone users, whom the firm interviewed, didn’t care about geolocation services offered by Gowalia, Foursquare, Google Latitude and Facebook Places. In fact, 60% of active users don’t use LBS and 70% of non-smartphone owners don’t understand how it works. So even the pro-mobiles are apathetic about finding their friends’ locations.
- But don’t worry. A Canadian group , called “Apathy is Boring,” is engaging young people to become responsible citizens by using technology to improve society. From apathy to the world of mobile geeks.
I wonder, then, about apathy and the future of mobile technology. Besides the “haves” and “have-nots,” is a schism developing between mobile enthusiasts and mobile apathetics? Once personal computers are replaced by tablets, phones and other gizmos, will society break up into two groups, the pro-tech minority and the anti-tech majority? Will mobile geeks split in the world of geekdom?
Like the Tea Party in the last election, as mobile technology becomes more complex, will politics split along technological lines: the Pro-Mob party vs. the larger, apathetic Anti-Mobs? Only time will tell.
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