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Mobile Phone Addiction? What a load of old TOFFLENOSH!

Mobile Phone

First of all, thanks to Livejournal user jagwire for coining the word 'tofflenosh'.

Now. A woman called Diana James, apparently a 'consumer behaviour expert' from Brisbane's Queensland University of Technology, has been all over NewsRadio this morning, babbling on about her survey which, apparently, 'reveals Aussies' social obsession with mobile phones':

More than 2500 phone owners completed Ms James' online survey, which focused on the psychological, financial and social impact of Australian's skyrocketing use of mobile phones.

She found 22% of these people considered themselves to be heavy or very heavy users and 8% had experienced monthly bills that were over $500.

OK. Anyone here who has done first-year-dumbed-down-for-arts-students-statistics at uni, like I did, will know the evidentiary value of an online survey that depends on people deciding to do the survey themselves: precisely four fifths of SOD-ALL.

For a survey to be valid, it needs a genuinely random selection of subjects. They do teach that at QUT, don't they? 'Cause if you really thought this was a problem, surely you'd want accurate figures?

But what really gets me is this bit:

"Instead of consuming the technology in a healthy manner, the technology starts overtaking other aspects of their life"... Ms James says most people use their phone responsibly but the time spent on it is increasing.

Oh, I'm so glad that 'most people' have Ms James' approval for the way they use their mobiles. I have been sitting up at night for months now, concerned that some concerned social scientist social impressionist, ('cause this sure ain't science), did not approve of my use of convenient modern technology.

This sort of thing seems very common in Australia, in my impression. There seems to always be someone who is ready to be 'concerned' about someting their fellow Australians do.

Well, instead of being 'concerned', how about turning your mind to the boring business of helping to make people strong and free and powerful, so they can make their own decisions?

I well remember similar babble from reactionaries about video game addiction in the '80s. I don't remember those babblers popping up in the oughties and saying 'actually, those kids who played computer games are now part of the wave of those creating and using the most powerful computer-based tools that history has ever seen, ever.'

As you can see, I'm a little angry, so I'll let comedian Ben Elton, in one of his more intellectual and introspective moods, wrap this up:

"Oh, do F*** off!"

Cross-posted at my LiveJournal.

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