Our Abusive Relationships With Our Mobiles

Posted by Mister Mobility

During the weekend, it occured to me that having ranted about the frustrations of Windows Phone 7.5 on a budget device, I still find it difficult to put the Nokia Lumia 610 down. The freshness of the Windows Phone user interface just seems to have me addicted, so here I am still carrying it around and using it as my primary smartphone despite the frustrating lags in some apps. Sigh.


I have been counselling people in relationships for 17 years, and I know that I am not taking my own advice in this case. You see, this is a perfect scenario of an abusive relationship. This device has enough frustrations to boil water, but enough honey to keep me dipping my fingers in the boiling pot for taste after taste. But before you scream, “Physician, heal thyself!”, the truth is that many phone users here are in the same situation, because they lack viable alternatives. Yes.

I tweeted about this, asking if this isn’t like being in an abusive relationship. A response from from our friendly neighbourhood social media person and mobilista, Jesse Oguns, was interesting. Said he, “It is. The kind of relationship most of us have with our iPhones. I just can’t put mine down. It is cute.” There you go. I have followed Jesse’s romance with the iPhone 4S for a while, and have seen him smother it with kisses and cuddles one day, then tear his hair out the next. Oh, the exciting life of a mobilista!

The Parable Of Adam & Eve

Let me tell you a parable. I created it. Yes. Pardon me if you’re not the religious type, but I am sure that you have heard the story (or a variant) of Adam and Eve, the very first people on the planet. If Adam had been an abusive husband, Eve had no options. If Eve had been too, Adam was stuck. She was the only babe in town. If he wanted some, there you go. Can I get a witness? The next few generations of humans would have experienced similar frustrations, because of the very few options available. No?


Oh, I can feel the preach coming on! So, let’s get back to mobiles, before I transform MOBILITY into a pulpit on a Monday morning. Amen?

In my recent article, I detailed how the lack of variety is killing me. Yes; it is this lack of variety that keeps me – and others like me – in these abusive relationships. Why can Jesse not have a phone that does everything he wants, alongside having the cuteness of the iPhone? Why? Why can I not have the clean, fresh interface of Windows Phone alongside everything else that I want?

I am no prophet, but I do know what you guys will tell me. I can predict the points and outlines of your pontifications. Fine. Go ahead and say it. The comments section is yours! Do add whether or not you are in an abusive relationship with your mobile too. After all, it can not be a bad idea to see who and who we should be expecting at our first “Mobilistas Anonymous” meeting coming to your neighbourhood soon.

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8 comments

  1. Like I’ve said a couple of times, what I want would be a Jelly Bean OS with the sweetness of IOS UI/UX. if iOS was just a little bit open as Android, it’ll be my perfect OS.

    I can’t even download a song to my iPhone by clicking the link. Sigh! I have to wait to get to my Laptop to do the magic. It should be simpler.

    Let’s see how others feel about their own device. But I bet most who haven’t tried several OS won’t have much to say. I never knew I could love iPhone and manage it, until I got one.

  2. Hmmmm..I think I have been in this kinda abusive relationship with my Iphone for a while o….I go as far as defending it even when the frustration is palbable. I’m yet to recover from that of yesterday’s update but then what can a mother do to an ill- behaved child? You love him/her all the same. *sigh*

  3. Restrictive relationship, yes.

    Abusive? I differ.

    In an abusive relationship, there are lots of options available to extricate yourself from it. You are usually in there for other reasons other than lack of alternatives (eg, psychological reasons)

    You have clearly said there are no viable options in the mobile landscape right now. that it is boring. (not my opinion, by the way. I say not)

    I would therefore say the parallel being drawn here, is nebulous, at best.

    If WindowsPhone has its attractions, but with other negative qualities, and you are still hooked, that is NOT an abusive relationship.

    in abusive relationships, you always HAVE options.

    in this mobile relationship, YOU have claim there are no viable options.

    unless you want to change your mind regarding THAT assertion – to make this COMPARISON valid.

    Now, I wonder what the ephemeral Glenda thinks of my crap?

  4. A woman one said to the husband in the heat of an argument, “I was a fool to have married” and the husband replied, “I was in love and didn’t notice.” I am probably so much in love with Android that I have not noticed enough drawbacks to want to regret adopting it. As a matter of fact, Android does what I want in mobiles better than every other platform and I don’t have any concrete reason to think of ditching it. And yes, frustration happen sometimes, but given what I have read and brief experience with other platforms, I already know I’m not going to get a better experience from any other platforms for now, so presently for me, there is no viable alternative outside the Android world.

    Maybe one singular case that could match Mr. Mo’s experience is the one I’m getting from TouchPal keyboard right now. The latest iteration of the version 5 solved most of the issues from the previous version 5, so it is at least usable now. But there is this very frustrating lags on the keyboard at times that I’m even switch to another keyboard briefly but still always come back to TouchPal. And yet I still have the very stable release of their version 4 but the huge improvements in prediction accuracy and intelligence won’t let me revert back to version 4. Yes, for those improvements, I am prepared to keep enduring those frustrating lags and also learning how to mitigate them.

  5. There can never be any perfect, faultless, totally satisfying OS or smartphone because there are no perfect human beings who make them. And by the way, we don’t need a perfect OS or device. If ever there is one, innovation will end. We would no longer look forward to the NEXT BIG THING. There will be no more excitement of a new version or update of sorts. Technology will become dinosaurs. Revenues will dry up. Technology coys will go extinct. Investors will go bankrupt. People will be out of jobs. World economies will stall.

  6. @Jesse you can download a song in iOS without resorting to your laptop. There’re several apps downloader out there. I think you should get one. Examples include VDownloads and Download HD.

    Yes, my perfect OS is iOS with a little bit more freedom than we are dealt currently! Or Android with the fluidity of iOS. Nope, Wimdows phone and their tiled/lettered User interface doesn’t cut it for me.

    However, I should say that Android almost comes perfect with the level of customisation available to it. The things you can do on Android is every iOS users’ dream.

    Yes, we live in an abusive or restrictive relationship with our gadgets. A gadget is never perfect. But we have to make do with what we’ve got. Is it abuse? Or restriction? Couldn’t say outright. But @EyeBeeKay, sometimes, an abused individual, especially when married with kids, and also a woman with no other means of livelihood except the husband, has little options.

    The same is evident in gadgets. Most often, We have bought lots of apps and content in the ecosystem of that mobile operating system. Also psychologically tuned to that OS. And so, we may ultimately find it very difficult to move to another platform. That’s one reason why many folks are hooked on iOS despite the “restrictive” or abusive relationship depending on how you see it. The same is true for Android, and maybe Symbian. But then the burning ship memo from Elop scared folks away from that once elegant platform quicker than the faulty ecosystem and perceived needs could hold them back!

  7. Much like married life. You get to love it with all its flaws. Nothing is perfect. Nothing ever will. Perfection is not for this plane of existence. Maybe when your number is up and you go into transition, you may achieve perfection when united with your creator. But as far as it goes here and as reflected in smartphones, we must always keep looking for the better options and those little extras that could makes the particular OS cut it for us.

    Variety is the spice of life. But you don’t get it all in one device just as you don’t get all the good attributes in one partner (unless love is still blinding your eyes). Yes, that same love that keeps you glued to a device in spite of its downsides. That’s what romance with smartphones is all about.

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