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Are Americans Addicted to Technology?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-actually-need-the-high-speed-internets-though dept.

United States 359

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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Only $200/mo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330433)


Re:Only $200/mo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330573)

What is high speed internet in the U.S ?

512 kbps
1500 kbps
24,000 kbps
more ?

24,000 kbps is the fastest available where I live. (for residential users)

Do you have download limits, shaping. excess useage fees?
Just curious as to what services are like in otner countries.

well (1)

Neotrantor (597070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330436)

i just spend the last 3 days trying to capture obsidian flesh from a boss on perdition rock in guildwars. is that additcted?

Re:well (1)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330452)

No, that's lack of skill.

Ohh Ohhh! I'm So Addicted! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330437)

Help! I keep refreshing Slashdot! Oh no!

Addicted? (1)

NaNO2x (856759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330440)

Ha, I'm not addicted I can go all the way around the world without using any technology! (are we there yet?)

Spec-Tech-ular. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330550)

and europe doesnt like their cell-phopnes at _all_

Re:Spec-Tech-ular. (2, Funny)

oobob (715122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330572)

You forgot about Poland.

MOD UP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330624)

Somebody must nod this up

addiction (4, Funny)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330443)

I can quit any time I want.

Re:addiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330558)

Yeah? Well I can stop posting to slashdot any time I want!

Pfft (5, Insightful)

seinman (463076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330444)

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 (2, Insightful)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330470)

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.

Re:Pfft (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330516)

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 (1)

Cmdr_earthsnake (939669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330559)

Both, if you look at the creative pro's who make movies and stuff, a good PDA would just add to their creativity.

In the hands of the wrong person (not suggesting who that may be) it might just be taken apart and/or smashed or used to send useless texts to friends and browse slashdot all the time :P... and so forth.

Re:Pfft (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330595)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330530)

Ah. I see you don't include Alabama or West Virginia in your poll of toothbrush use...

Psychologically Your Exactly Right (1)

Michael_Munks (869444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330533)

Addiction is defined by use despite consequences. So are there consequences for our behavior? I suppose different opinions could exist.

Toothbrushes. (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330580)

That could probably be more accurately stated, "Only 1% of Americans admit to not using a toothbrush daily."

Re:Pfft (5, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330591)

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...

Re:Pfft (1)

TheSixth1 (81935) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330610)

I agree that the article is useless drivel with the word addiction thrown in to alarm/titilate/intrigue a reader to sell more magazines.

What Wired is calling "addiction" is, IMHO, a natural result of an increase in disposable income that American consumers are earning. According to figures from the US Census Bureau, there has been nearly a [pdf alert] 300% increase in disposable income since 1980 [] . What Wired calls addition I call a market economy that is providing cool toys for a growing popution that can afford to buy them and spend time playing with them.

Now, if I can only figure out how to use census data to explain/justify Ever-crack addiction...

Well it gets worse (2, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330646)

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.


the first step is admitting you have a problem (4, Funny)

cygnus (17101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330445)

How addicted are we? How addicted are you?
shut up shut up shut up!!


Completely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330450)

I could not exist without my coffee grinder.

"News" (1)

ScaryFroMan (901163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330453)

"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."

I've always thought that Barney was a much more reliable news source. Of course, not that Fox News is any more usable.

Re:"News" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330478)

sigs are for teh lusers

How addicted? (5, Funny)

PasteEater (590893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330458)

Well, I'm on vacation and I'm reading Slashdot.

That about says it all.

Re:How addicted? (0)

lampiaio (848018) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330622)

I think the real problem starts when you read Slashdot while you should be working...

Hey.. (5, Funny)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330459)

Are Americans Addicted to Technology?

They misspelled 'porn'.

Re:Hey.. (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330567)

And 'humans' too.

+5 Funny? (4, Funny)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330613)

Should be +5 Informative. We all know that the Internet is for porn [] ...

Tecfhnology itself is addicting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330463)

I'm Sri Lankan. I can tell you I'm sitting here in Sri Lanka reloading slashdot, digg, and engadget all the time. Why? Because I like technology and gadgets too. I'd be nowhere without a cellphone or laptop. Even when I travel outside my town. A local cell phone company (not even the best one) recently boasted over 10% of the population was their customer.

Technology improves quality of life, so why shouldnt we utilize it? Isn't that the whole point?

Wow, I can see it now... (1)

Hydryad (935968) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330465)

"My name is Bob, and I have been without the compulsion to constantly check my email for a month now."
"Everybody clap for bob!"

It is already happening, but I could quit whenever I want! Honest!

Addicted? Or Dependant? (4, Insightful)

taskforce (866056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330467)

Does dependant necessarily == addicted?

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

Re:Addicted? Or Dependant? (1)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330493)

I think the coloquial use of the word "addiction" implies no dependence, but 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 dependant on food, and you habitually occupy yourself with it. Ergo you are both dependant and addicted.

Re:Addicted? Or Dependant? (1)

CarnivorousCoder (872609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330556)

Perhaps I ought to kick that sleep habit. I'm woefully dependent on sleep.

In other news (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330474)

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. (2, Interesting)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330475)

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.

Re:Yes, yes we are. (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330570)

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. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330640)

Yes. Thanks to recent advancements, now we use Segways.

Addicted - HA! (1)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330479)

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?

You say it like it's a bad thing... (2, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Clinical addiction or Gorwing soft. (4, Insightful)

Irvu (248207) | more than 8 years ago | (#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*

Growing soft (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330551)

They have pills that will take care of that for you. See you doctor.

Well..... (0, Offtopic)

zeke2.0 (921786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330486)

We are the Borg... We will assimilate your technology into our own and pay you for it... Resistance is futile.

Re:Well..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330643)

You misspelled 'Microsoft'

Why just Americans? (1)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330487)

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?

Re:Why just Americans? (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330515)

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.

Bah. We're a buncha luddites. (4, Interesting)

SoupIsGood Food (1179) | more than 8 years ago | (#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

Addicted to Technology? (1)

ErichTheWebGuy (745925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330495)

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 would think that means the answer, at least in my case, is yes.

Addicted to Luxury More Likely (1)

TheUncleD (940548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330498)

We love luxuries. Listening to music wherever you are is a luxury. Being able to use a computer at your favorite cafe is a luxury (laptops). Being able to send pictures to your website from your cell phone MOBLOGGING is "perhaps" a stretch of a luxury, but remains a luxury. Perhaps we should use the term "Luxury 2.0" in jest, since these are the luxuries of the technological world.. Whose got some more!

Expensive (1)

cdgod (132891) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330500)

In Canada, 3Mb/s is $48 per month... cheaper if you go with a smaller provider !

The US is sooo expensive.

Re:Expensive (1)

brentcastle (807566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330544)

Its just too bad you have to live in Canada to get such a good price.

Re:Expensive (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330564)

But the big Canadian telcos are all awful, just like BellSouth claims to be. Canada's in the same "fuck the rest of the world; North America will have slow internet!" boat as America is in. Plus, you guys have levies on storage media (an outright inane idea in the first place).

Re:Expensive (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330574)

In Canada, 3Mb/s is $48 per month... cheaper if you go with a smaller provider !

$48 per month? That's like $3.34 US! How do you guys get internet so cheap up north?

Re:Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330642)

Umm, Cox gives me 5m/768k for $39.99/mo (achievable even, as tested at dslreports). That's much faster than yours, for less money. My mom has 768/128 DSL from SBC (the lowest speed offered, and all she needs) for the dirt cheap price of $14.95/mo. Tell me again how terrible it is?

drive 5 miles to use a pay phone???? (4, Interesting) (562495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330501)

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?

Re:drive 5 miles to use a pay phone???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330625)

Sounds great until you need to call 911 about something with your child.

Re:drive 5 miles to use a pay phone???? (4, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330626)

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.

A necessity as well as an addiction (3, Interesting)

Hannah E. Davis (870669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330504)

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.

I love slow news days... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330505)

US? Have you been to Japan?

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330508)

I'm posting this from my mobile, listening to my iPod, while my laptop works on a torrent. 'nuff said.

Yes. (4, Insightful)

Valar (167606) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Who pays $200 a month? (1)

thehickcoder (620326) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330510)

Who pays $200 a month for home internet service? I can think of high bills for those who live in remote areas, but satellite is at most $100 a month ($60, if you don't rent the equipment). I know, I checked into getting it before the phone company made DSL available where I live. Even the small business commerical service in my area is less than $100.

Re:Who pays $200 a month? (1)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330540)

Read the post again - $200 a month for tech gadgets, not $200 for internet service.

How about Japan or Korea? (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330511)

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."

Are you worried about the americans? (1)

acid06 (917409) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330513)

Just look at Japanese stuff like QRIO [] and Asimo [] .
Hell, even the new reincarnations of the old Aibo [] are impressive.

"Broadband addiction" (whatever that means) is nothing compared to this.

Soon you'll probably have people stating that in Japan robots are getting addicted to humans beings which they see as some sort of organic gadgets. And I'm not just trying to be fun.

More of a habit than addiction... (1)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330517)

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 maybe checking the weather or a movie time. Generally though, weekends are technology (as in computers and gadgets) free for the most part. I see enough of them in my work week that I am ready to unplug from the routine on the weekend.

$200 a month!!! (1)

mnmn (145599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330518)

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 automobile, but I suppose it only replaced the horse. I'm addicted to the Internet... and the computer. But thats just the demographics I fall under, being on slashdot and all.

Re:$200 a month!!! (2, Informative)

C0deM0nkey (203681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330587)

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.

Re:$200 a month!!! (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330607)

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 the new intel ones next year with a LUST!

Re:$200 a month!!! (2, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330612)

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.

Addicted to Taxes, too (5, Funny)

renimar (173721) | more than 8 years ago | (#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?

Its a good thing (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330525)

Its not a bad addiction, in fact it is probably the best addiction one can have. Humans depend on its technology and tools to survive, more today than ever before. Having an entire nation obsessed with having the newest and latest is a great way to advance areas of technology more useful for survival; though many advances are purly extravagance they are often the building blocks for greater things, such as hobbiest rocketeer's leading to German rocket weapons to the American and Russia space programs to satellite comm to landing on the moon to (hopefully one day) spreading our selves among the stars (and ofcourse then increasing our survivability against world ending catastrophies like the genesis of highly intelligent creatures.)

Make up your mind (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330526)

First America is too slow in adopting broadband [] , 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 now that people buy a lot of gadgets in December? Next thing you know you will see a breaking news article about how sales of fireworks go up in late June/early July or about how sales of candy goes up in late October...

No different than the... (1)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330531)

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.


Addiction or need? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330534)

Technology isn't a neutral soma, its use reflects an underlying need for expression, that's the addiction. You don't see people spending a fortune on elaborate heating systems, which are just a utility. Control, pleasure and voyeurism are most likely the expressions strongest beneath the American psyche. It's human nature to extend and embrace all those aspects. Look at the biggest sellers, I'm guessing phones, cameras, sex related, guns... and what do the corporations and Hollywood push at us all the time?

I guess.. (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330539)

you could turn off the power to the house and unplug the car battery for one day to see how reliant you are to it. I wouldn't necessary be worried about addiction more so too much reliance on it.

Whatever! (1)

andy753421 (850820) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330541)

I haven't used the internet in years...

4 out of 10??!?! (1)

Zen (8377) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330542)

Okay, new poll. Who here pays more than $75/month for their internet connection?
Most of us have cable or DSL. Cable is probably averaging $55-60/month for residential customers, and DSL is probably about $10-15 cheaper on average (my guesses, but based on some knowledge). The highest end plans cost more obviously, and Slashdot probably has a much higher percentage of high-end plans than the normal population. I simply cannot believe that $100-$150 is around 40% of the US population. Maybe these people are still using dialup, and their ISP is out of their area code so they have to pay per minute long distance charges and they took that into account when computing the cost. My T1 to my house only cost just a bit over $200, and that's definitely not a common option for people. Now I have business class cable instead of the T1 and it only costs $150, so what services are these people getting that they pay this much? I really want to know, because maybe there's better/faster options out there that I just don't know about.

Re:4 out of 10??!?! (1)

Zen (8377) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330566)

nevermind. RTFA before jumping to conclusions.

Addicted? I think not. (1)

the_macman (874383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330543)

Didn't RTFA but I would doubt the statement that so many americans are addicted, but rather their lives are integrated with technology. It's become a way of life. I'm a 22 year old college student. Every single college student I know (and most adults) has a computer, mostly laptops. My internet connection is constant and AIM is always signed on. If I need to get a hold of one of my friends I send him an IM, then check his away message and then call him. I live in NYC and I order my groceries online and they are delivered to my house. I recieve and turn in my school assignments across the web. I have a media center to serve up content throughout my house which is on a network. I bought most of my christmas presents online, pay my bills online, and check my bank online. Anywhere I take my laptop with me I can almost always get some sort of wireless connection, which allows me to access any of my files from home. I have a GPS navigation system in my car to keep me from getting lost and help me in unfamiliar areas. The list goes on and on. But my point is I'm not the only one living my life around technology. I grew up with computers (technology) and it's just a way of life with me and many others. The way techonology has evolved has created a global network and made venues for delivering information instantly. I think everyone has grown accustomed to that instant delivery. I wouldn't call it an addiction but rather a way of life. I can't even imagine what the life for my children is gonna be like (no slashdot jokes!).

Yeah right (1)

eander315 (448340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330561)

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.

depends on the way you look at it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330562)

I guess things depends on the way you look at it. What one might call addiction, another might call a way of life.

Most people will obviously have severe cravings for electricity if put in a remote village (without electricity). Does it mean that we are addicted to electricity. I would say not.

I would call a habit an addiction if it has harmful (side) effects (eg. playing quake for 3 full years screwed me in undergrad; I would call that an addiction).

I for one welcome our Japanese overlords. (1)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330563)

I am addicted to technology. Japan is my dealer, ever pushing more and more sophisticated high-end digital smack on me... I need faster internet... I'm hoping Verizon FIOS will be available soon, so I can download off my premium usenet feed at 15mbps...

I'm not the only one around here, it turns out. On a lark, I went war-walking with my new Ceramic White PSP the other day (It's worth noting that the Japanese models have longer wifi range), and found that here in Downtown Middlebury, VT-- a place I wouldn't really expect this to be the case --all the ground I covered had complete wifi coverage... (Ninety percent of which was totally unsecured...) So even here you can access the internet from just about any spot downtown... Granted, it's not the middle of nowhere like say, Fargo, but for sure, this isn't exactly Tokyo.

I'm not addicted to technology, just information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330565)

If I had a choice between all the things my computer can do except for access the internet, and a computer that could just access the internet, I'd choose the latter.

finally, a white man in that minority (1)

kopper187 (59901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330568)

"A third of the country ..." and "... 4 out of 10 ..."

That makes 7.33/10 spending more than $100 per month.

Paying half of a $40 per month cable bill makes me in a small, lucky, majority.

List (1)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330569)

I'm surprised no one starting listing there toys.

Technology, yes. Spell check, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330577)

Otherwise, "dependent" would have been spelled correctly in the opening text.

Moderator Please! (0, Troll)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330583)

Can someone mod this entire article as Flamebait? It _is_ slashdot, after all.

Addicted Americans (1)

JustAnotherBob (811208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330598)

I would have to say food is by far Americas biggest addiction. This can be seen by the percentage of our population that is catagorized as obese. How much does the average American household(family of 4) spend on fast food monthly?

Just Americans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330600)

How addicted are all tech-literate people around the world?

Asia anyone? How 'bout those crazy folks in Europe?

IMO we're all about the same. The gadget that drives what we want/need/accept as normal, we can't live without.

Uh, you mean like we're addicted to cars? (1)

gregor-e (136142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330608)

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".

work related (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330611)

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'd answer but... (3, Funny)

h4ckintosh (842712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330615)

I have to answer my cell phonce, txt my friend and check my email first.

Adapted not Addicted (1)

Quirk (36086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330618)

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 addiction than the wide, successful adoption of new technology by a large segment of the population.

Your job in medieval times? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330621)

I always wondered what I would do if all this technology were to suddenly disappear. So I ask myself, what would I be doing if I lived in the medieval times?

Monk, cook, 'wizard'... ?

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330633)



  • eat my balls
    suck itsuck itsuck itsuck itsuck itsuck it
    suck itsuck itsuck it

Denial? No... (1)

stavromueller (934803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330639)

Not me...Addicted, no way! I'm not addicted, I just like it. No really, I'm fine. I'm not addicted. Shut up, I'm OK. I could quit at any time. Just watch! Any time. No really.
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