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The Unwarranted Thrill of Mobile Devices

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

You may have trodden this world for enough years to remember when mobile phones were a big deal. Car phones were very expensive, so one had to have enough income or a serious need to own one.

A huge amount of internet activity happens on mobile devices, but many of the apps are terrible. In addition, people have shorter attention spans.
Someone is checking me out on a tablet. Made at PhotoFunia.
Mobile phones were developed for decades, but became more accessible in the 1980s. Short talk time, big as a horse's leg, and expensive. Prices came down with technology and competition (that's what capitalism does). We graduated to cell phones. Even the most basic kinds are considered essential and many parents believe every child should have one for safety reasons.

Compare even the most basic cell phones with what you see on older shows. It's fun to watch things like the classic MacGyver or Rockford Files, and even some older movies. Especially after you just watched a modern high-tech police drama: "Sam, I got the image you sent and ran it through the database. I'm sending you his criminal record now." A few years, try to find a phone somewhere to get information.

Moving to December 2020, the smartphone carried in a pocket or purse is reputed to be more powerful than the supercomputers that put man on the moon. Want to check the weather on the other side of the planet, place an order so you can bring home supper, or see if you've had responses on social(ist) media? Fine — as long as you have an internet connection. There are literally millions of apps available for just about anything.

People have shorter attention spans nowadays (when is the last time you spent even twenty minutes reading a book?), but are locked in with constantly checking their mobile devices. Just the other day, I was driving through a parking lot of a shopping plaza. An old woman was staring at her device and stepped off the sidewalk of a store into the driving area. Never looked up and I could have hit her. Being easily distracted seems to fit in with shorter attention spans.

A bane of social media is that people don't want to read articles. We can spend hours writing them and providing documentation, then some tinhorn reads the title and maybe three sentences of introduction, then makes a comment. Many times, they make simple statements about what was written in the article, or even tell the author or whoever posted something about how wrong they are — but those things were covered in the material they didn't read.

Checking my website stats, more people are using the things than are using real computers. Facebook forced a bad interface on users for people who use real computers, so I spoof it with a user agent, telling it that I am using an old operating system or somesuch. That way, I can get around the defects so I can get certain things done; their apps are dreadful and seriously limited. However, spoofing won't work if I want to do other things, and I get a notice telling me to use a real computer instead. It's not just Fascistbook, either.

Something that disappeared from my previous draft is how I loathe his new interface that Blogger (owned by Google, much to my dismay) has forced on us. I tried to use their app, but when it caused an article I wrote to disappear entirely, I uninstalled that in a hurry.

With both Fazebook and Blogger, the interfaces on the web versions stink and the apps are pathetic. Yeah, I know, stinks to be me.

By the way, does anyone watch a video more than three minutes long on a mobile app? Christians, do you read even three chapters a day in your Bibles?

No, I'm not a big fan of mobile devices. I carry one for quick needs and especially for telephone use, but for serious things, I must use the computer at home, where I am writing this rant right now. If you'll excuse me, I have some reading to do.

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