The whole iPhone (and iPod and iPad) thing is starting to sound like a 1950’s science fiction movie. If you’ve ever watched one of these now-totally-camp movies, the story line goes like this: A mad scientist bent on world domination invents a fanciful machine that turns humans into unthinking zombies over whom he has complete control. Now let’s update that storyline. A mad scientist by the name of Steve Jobs invents a fanciful machine called the iPhone that, according to a recent Stanford University survey, turns users into “junkies” allowing him and his evil empire to take over the world (at least the media world, so far). Now do you see it?
How powerful is this fanciful machine? The research indicated that 44 percent of those surveyed rated themselves as a four or five on a five-point addicted-to-my-iPhone scale. Another 32 percent reported that they were worried that they would eventually become addicted. Here’s a scary stat: 75 percent of respondents said they slept with their phones in their beds. Even more scary is that users felt their iPhones were an extension of themselves and have actually begun to anthropomorphize their phones. Sounds like induced psychotic and delusional behavior to me. That is one powerful device Mr. Jobs and his team of mad scientists have invented!
His plan is as fiendish as it is brilliant, having been years in the making. His release of increasingly more addictive devices, starting with the iPod, then the iPhone, and taking it to a new level with the iPad shows a clear vision and the patience to realize that vision. And Mr. Jobs is an evil genius of great sophistication and nuance, seeing the addictive power of seemingly innocuous little things called apps. The App Store may seem innocent enough selling what appear to be fun and often-times useless applications, but each $.99 purchase and installation of a new app is another nail in the metaphorical coffin of humanity and free will.
This mad scientist has even developed a cadre of Apple uber-zombies, who proudly call themselves Apple Fanboys, who are specially trained to protect the empire whenever it is threatened. This brigade of storm troopers (only a satirical reference to Nazism; no offense intended) has been given special access to this wicked machine through jailbreaking and “unauthorized” apps (wink, wink), giving them super-Apple powers that threaten those as-yet-unaffected survivors daily. These demented guardians of the empire are ever vigilant to attacks from the few remaining humans who have been able to resist drinking the Apple-flavored Kool-Aid. A critical news report, an unsupportive blog post, anything that might question or criticize Jobs or Apple, any sign of resistance or defiance against this new world order is met with swift and ruthless Apple justice.
Going according to Jobs’s wicked blueprint for global supremacy, the population is slowly, but inexorably, falling under his spell. I see it around me every day. First, it was work colleagues and clients. Then, it was acquaintances and a few friends. And now some in my family have gone to the dark side including my mother-in-law who, the horrors, takes care of my children once a week.
What can those of us who haven’t gotten zombified do? Probably nothing given Mr. Jobs’s maniacal mission of world dominion and the Sirens-like allure of Apple products. What hope is there for humanity? Only one perhaps. That the other mad scientist of the technological-industrial complex, Bill Gates, has finally come up with another fanciful technology, Windows Phone 7, that will enable the Microsoft empire (admittedly equally evil) to compete for world domination. How will that help us humans? Well, it seems certain that we’re all headed toward zombieland. At least we can exercise our last vestige of free will by choosing which poison we want to drink before life on Earth as we know it comes to an end.
As for me, to paraphrase a classic Charlton Heston line, I’ll give you my Windows Mobile phone when you take it from my cold, dead hands!
Dr. Jim Taylor is internationally recognized for his work in the psychology of performance in business, parenting, and sport. HeÂ is the author of ten books, including Positive Pushing: How to Raise a Successful and Happy Child, Your Children are Under Attack: How Popular Culture is Destroying Your Kidsâ€™ Values, and How You Can Protect Them, The Triathleteâ€™s Guide to Mental Training, and Applied Sport Psychology: Four Perspectives, the Prime Sport book series, Psychology of Dance, Psychological Approaches for Sports Injury Rehabilitation, and Comprehensive Sports Injury Management.
He has has appeared on NBCâ€™s Today Show, Fox News Channelâ€™s Fox & Friends, UPNâ€™s Life & Style, ABCâ€™s World News This Weekend, and the major television network affiliates around the U.S..