Do you ever get sick of mobile tech?

Yuck_boombu_s4ndm4nPocketables wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for my obsession with portable gadgets, but sometimes mobile tech makes me feel very . . . for lack of a better word . . . bleh. I rarely spend more than a few waking hours offline or away from one of my gadgets because if I "unplug" for too long, I occasionally can’t "replug" without absolutely forcing myself to do it.

This weekend, for example, was the first time in over a year that I let more than 24 hours go by without doing at least something online. It was a conscious choice, as my wedding anniversary and Mother’s Day will always take precedence over shiny gadgets and whatever’s making waves on the web, but I was surprised by how much I really didn’t want to deal with anything related to mobile tech when the celebrations were over. I looked at my desk (currently home to my HTC Shift, Fujitsu U810, Vaio UX180P, and most of the items listed in the "other gadget reviews" section of the sidebar) and literally felt sick of everything.

I had plans to work on my Wibrain UMPC review after dinner but couldn’t even flip open the lid on my Sony Vaio TZ until after midnight!

It’s 3 a.m. now so my temporary aversion to mobile tech has obviously passed and I’m back to my usual insomniac tendencies, but resuming my normal gadget-obsessed behavior today was so difficult that I just had to find out if this kind of thing ever happens to you.

I don’t have a love-hate relationship with pocketable technology (at least I don’t think I do) and this isn’t related to my UMPC blues, so the fact that I could actually get sick of mobile tech (even if only for a little while) is strange to me. I understand that even things we adore and often feel we can’t live without aren’t immune to the "too much of a good thing" adage, but my gut reaction to mobile tech this weekend was literally "bleh!" For a split-second, the thought of pulling the plug on this and my other sites even crossed my mind. That’s how much I wanted nothing to do with portable gadgets (and how much of an irrational extremist I can be).

Now it’s your turn. Do you ever want to rid your life of mobile tech? When do you feel like this most often and how do you combat it? And if I’m alone in my insanity, please feel free to leave me the name and number of your tech therapist.

Image of Yuck Boombu created by Matthew Beers.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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14 thoughts on “Do you ever get sick of mobile tech?

  • Avatar of turn_self_off

    i know feel.

    but for me its mostly related to there being nothing new.

    sure, we hear about all this cool blue sky tech some person in a lab coat have come up with.

    but the stuff reaching the consumer market is more and more of the same with minor revisions on connectivity, storage and processing capability.

    its like a living example of “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.

  • Great post. Yes, I get sick of it too. I usually will not blog over the weekend to spend time with my family. This really puts me behind on Monday when I come in to work. I have to catch up on what happened over the weekend. Otherwise, I spend WAY too much time during the week blogging, reviewing, answering tech questions, emails, etc…

  • My obsession is episodic, which I can end when my e-mail is cleaned up. I also have your priority about family, they always take precedence (for fear of the evil eye by my better half.

  • NEVER! :-)

    Actually, yes. I am not sure whether it is a matter with mobile tech (or tech in general) or whether it is the fact that the tech evokes the idea of working, but while I do use mobile tech extensively on a daily basis, when I do disconnect for a few days I feel strangely free! :-)

  • You can have my Tech Toys if you can pry them from my cold, dead fingers! :)

    Jenn, I know how you feel! After working with Tech all day, it’s easy to hit overload & not want to go near anything that beeps, has led’s or otherwise!
    Must admit, tho – I am seriously hooked! After a couple of days of freedom (which I DO enjoy!), I start to wonder what I am missing & start needing an internet fix! What the hell did we DO before the Internet came along???
    Because of my job, I have to keep up-to-date with all the latest Tech trends & news; am also an avid gamer, so I try to stay up to date with the Gaming community too; so much input – so little time!

  • I’ve found that once I purchased two devices that work well for me (ie. the Fujitsu U810 and HP tx2000) that my obsession really waned.

    I think that’s good, because it points to filling a desire (I won’t say need) effectively, and not needing an instant product fix.

  • Fortunately, I am not using mobile tech that extensively. My job has nothing to do with it and privately I am doing enough other things that are not tech related at all. So – no, I don’t get sick of my (limited number of) gadgets.

  • Avatar of Karel Jansens

    If only I could get an up-to-date Newton…

  • I must say, though, that a lot of my “obsession” (there, I said it!!) with Tech has to do with always wanting to see what the latest & greatest is. I tend to research the hell out of a particular purchase and then once i have it – if it does what i want it to do – I will then stop (or at least slow down) the constant reading up on that particular device or technology. That is, until something else pops up on my radar or I find myself needing to replace a device.
    Anybody else do this or am i just strange??? :)

  • Can’t say I’ve ever really gotten sick of my technology. I think there is an obvious cure for this feeling Jenn, its called: THE BEACH!

  • Well Jenn, maybe your sick feelings toward mobile tech are not related to your UMPC blues (are you totally sure that these illnesses are not somehow related?), but MY blues ARE related to the sinking feeling that everything new that is scheduled to be released is the same stuff rehashed, with very small improvements, and that I basically already HAVE IT ALL (gasp) – how ghastly a thought is that?

    Part of the obsession for me since my first Sony Walkman, and then the original Sony Picturebook has been the constant newness of it all, with new tech getting smaller, more useful, more attractive, with more features, more processing power and memory, nicer screens, and bigger hard disks, etc…

    Up to a few months ago, every new thing I got was a definite improvement, and I eagerly anticipated the latest gizmo, but CES this year was a total snore-festival with NO really exciting or innovative things on the horizon…personally the lack of inspiring stuff there gave me an underlying feeling of melancholy that is hard to shake, even now. I have been forced to actually divert some of my attention back to my work…

    We need extra speed, more dazzling features, something, I am a so bored with the newest offerings…

    Me, I just turned 40. I wanted to get something special for my birthday and realized that basically, I HAVE EVERYTHING ALREADY!!!

    The empty feeling of actually not needing anything, and not finding anything new to want was indescribable.

    Even with my mind made up that “you only turn 40 once” and that “money would be no object”, there was NOTHING new to buy in any gadget category, that I don’t already have covered by some micro computer, portable game system, camera equipment, MP3 player, or gadget.

    Keep your chin up.

    Sometimes I too wonder what life would be like without all of this stuff…my family and friends totally don’t get it, but guess who everybody calls when they need to know which gadget to buy, and then how to use it…

    I do get physically tired of carrying my N800, Canon G9, Treo, other cell phone, headphones, Garmin, UX280P, and assorted other revolving door gadgets in my purse.

    There are times I want to give everything away to the nearest stranger, stick my wallet in my pocket and throw my purse-backpack into the nearest dumpster, but then I snap out of it when I realize without mobile tech, life would be LAME and BORING and I would be trapped on Earth with many spare fleeting moments and NOTHING TO DO in those moments!

    For instance, without all of these things on me at almost all times, I’d never be able to:

    1) look for a new restaurant on the go, then
    2) actually find and navigate to that new restaurant on the first try,
    3) capture a photo of something anytime I want (I am an obsessive photo taker),
    4) surf the internet contentedly while waiting for someone who is always late for dinner
    5) settle a bet right at the dinner table,
    6) listen to MP3 or satellite radio on the go
    7) compare online pricing of an item when I am in a “bricks and mortar” store before I buy it on the spot.

    It would possibly be mind-clearing to just leave everything at home for a day, but that is NOT going to happen. I’d feel too lost without all of this stuff. All of it enriches my life and probably your life and the lives of your loyal followers too.

    How some people leave the house with only a Blackberry I have no idea…

    Jenn, there definitely seems to be a relationship with love of e-gadgets and insomnia…I too stay up till all hours. We can always find one more thing to do in the middle of the night can’t we?

  • You know Jenn, I too sometimes feel that I’m spending way too much time with the gadgets instead of spending ‘that’ precious time with my family. This has happened so many times when I’ve slapped+yelled at myself and telling myself that I could have spent that time with my parents, sister and other people I love.

    Sometimes, you just get too much engrossed in this tech-life and it starts making you disconnected to the beautiful and charming world outside.

  • @Iron-Hide – if you’re strange then so am I, I do exactly the same thing.

    Sometimes I do have one of those awful moments of reflection when I wonder why I bother keeping up to date with anything in the tech world. Just the thought of hundreds of mounting RSS feeds is depressing, especially when you’ve had a break (though I now find it v.hard to switch off, or at least do so guilt-free).

    Happily there’s usually something that comes along and gets me excited again – a liveblog event, maybe, or something vaguely new & impressive (rather than last year’s model with chrome edging). I guess when those occasions get rarer it’s time to start thinking about doing something else.


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