I’m old enough to remember the Zack the Legomaniac commercials, and I can honestly say that I was indeed a Legomaniac. I was comfortable with that term. Now, however, a new term supposedly defines my activities again, and I’m a little uneasy about this one. Mark Penn, author of Microtrends, has dubbed people who are contantly tethered to their smartphones as “smartphonics.” According to Penn, smartphone penetration in the U.S. is now around 18%, and is still growing. People are using their phones in new ways, in new places, and likely a lot more than they used to. The people who just cannot get enough of their phones (roughly 10% of smartphone users) are being labeled as “smartphoniacs.” The smartphoniacs are generally well-educated teens, professionals, and college students, and they all have anxiety about being disconnected.
As an owner of a Palm Pre, and previously a Treo (for two years), it is easy to see how one may become a smartphoniac. I have to keep my desire to be connected in check, and my wife has reminded me on more than one occasion that it’s not polite to be tweeting while having a conversation. I now just tweet while we watch “Dancing with the Stars.”
What about you? Do you fit the bill as a smartphoniac? Are you addicted to your phone? Does it hinder your in-person relationships? Are you taking measures to avoid having a smartphoniac attack? If you are a smartphone junkie, they say the first step in rehab is acceptance. Best of luck getting the monkey off your back. 😉