The “Tech Guy” uses a vast amount of electronic devices and channels for his daily communication needs. Revolutionary inventions feed his hunger for new technology and guide his way through this complex electronic world. Technology addiction, specifically in males is a rising phenomenon affecting our modern generation.
Technology Addiction is emerging because “the Internet has become more than a great database, more than a reliable and quality means allowing rapid communications in real time… the Internet easily becomes the object of abuse.” (2) Everyday we use multiple different media to communicate with each other, but to the point where the quality of communication is degraded in quality and length. “We conduct our day-to-day existence within laws, job and reward structures, cultural conventions, locations, norms of civic behaviour within the built environment, achievement expectations, material values, social relationships, and so on that are all part of the political order. Society functions within boundaries governed or mediated by institutions of organized power (e.g., the legal system, corporations, business associations, Congress, police, prisons, mass media).” (1) The tech guy is very much involved in business communication through his blackberry and laptop, and uses his iPhone for his personal and social interactions. “Communication is continually being reinvented by the marketplace. The convention of calling the voice, message, and image transmissions in the mass media ‘communication’ would have struck our pre-electronic-age ancestors as a very strange use of language. According to the German poet and essayist Hans Ezensberger (1974), with the few and limited exceptions of call-in radio and television programs, what we call the mass media permit ‘no reciprocal action between transmitter and receiver; technically speaking… [they reduce] feedback to the lowest point compatible with the system’.” (1) They tech guy needs to feel connected, whether or not the communication channels are open two ways he streams the latest information and news. The two-way communication channels, such as phones, texting, or video chat, are interactive but the message is mildly altered by the medium.
Extreme cases of technology addiction are becoming more common within the demographic of the tech guy. From an outside view, the majority of the general population in North America is addicted to technology, but it is a smaller percentage that is a dangerous addiction. “In the case of Internet addiction, the dominant understanding is one of victim psychology, in which a helpless individual is sucked into a technological monster and loses touch with family and friends. (…) It is important to note other potential paths that individuals might take as they travel through such an experience. Particularly, there is way back through romance or comedy whereby this drama might actually add strength to the world of the sufferer. The acknowledgment of such paths is critical to provide an alternative resolution to such institutionalised procedures as behavioural or chemical therapy.” (4) The tech guy sees himself as connected and informed with International current events, and the new the technology he obtains the faster and easier that becomes.
Tunnel vision happens quite often to the Tech Guy, because he is so involved in what is directly in front of his face he blocks out the rest of the world. This becomes problematic for him, for not only is he missing out on real time life, but his safety is also compromised, as he is likely to walk into poles or doors. Other human beings connected or not through his technology, are also invisible in his technology vision tunnel, therefore affecting his communication in relationships. “What happens when someone using a new technology finds it to be so enticing that they feel compelled to indulge to an excessive degree, disrupting their lives and fracturing relationships.” (14) The un-connected human observing the said tunnel vision quite often pokes fun at the technology addiction. “For example, Private Public is a series of objects that highlight the privacy we sacrifice when using mobile technological devices in public spaces. By wearing the mobile phone scarf, you can venture into public spaces confident that if the need to compose a private text message were to arise the object could be pulled over the face to create an isolated environment. Meanwhile, devoted PSP players can explore their passion in complete privacy (though I can’t guarantee they’ll be unnoticed) by using a similar model specifically designed for the gaming console.” (14) Overly excessive technology solutions like this or additions to our electronic accessories highlight the redundancy of unnecessary communication channels. “‘In some ways it’s a safety valve they use to prevent real-world conflict, (…) for heavy users, ‘the computer becomes essentially a relationship in their life.’ says Dr. Jerald Block, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health and Science University.” (3) Even greater an issue, adults are harder to help because shame motivates them to conceal their habits.” (3) When the tech guy has tunnel vision he is oblivious to his physical surroundings or well being. His technology addiction is part of his personality and he sees it as a lifestyle. This is when he may ignore other people, forget to eat, or even walk into a pole.
Tech friendly clothing solves multi-media use complications. His Blackberry networks his career, his iPhone socializes, the iPad delights, iPod entertains, his laptop enlightens and chargers energize. A new stream of clothing innovations channel your technology and multi-media might include the following:
- Waterproof to protect electronics
- Technology enabled clothing
- Pocket perfection
- Interior media pockets with hidden wire/cord exits and feeds
- The difference is inside
- Extendable key holders
- transparent and touch-sensitive pockets, which allow devices (touchscreen too) to be visible and controlled through the fabric
- Pick-pocket-proof zippered pockets
- Cleaning shammy with pocket map printed
- Patterns and styling emulate wiring/motherboard/microchip in a simplistic apple design (exterior)
Innovations in the technology of clothing disguise the modern tech guy. “Today’s high-tech clothes fit unobtrusively in your existing wardrobe. In the past, functional clothing was poorly designed, to the point where no one wanted to wear it, (…) Now, (…) designers are catching on and understanding how to incorporate their ideas into wearable pieces of clothing.” (5) This new generation of career focused technology savvy men have a keen eye and attention to detail. They are willing to invest in technology that benefits their life, in style and function. Davies-Keille says “We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel with our clothes; we want clothes that leave the customer completely unaware that the garment is doing its function. That is high-performance fashion technology.” (5) Innovations such as ICP Solar Technology’s flexible thin-film photovoltaic solar panels built into the actual garments allows a prolonged battery life of your devices by plugging them in on the go. (13) “The solar panel generates electricity and this energy is transmitted to a buffer battery for storage through textile leads. Alternately you can also use it directly by connecting you device to it.” (6) “It’s about recharging mobile devices while they’re actually mobile,” says Scott Jordan, whose company, ScotteVest, has added solar panels to the back of jackets. (12) Interactive jackets are now being made with control panel built right into the forearm, “you could call it a piece of ‘communication clothing’ as it helps you stay in touch always. You can literally control your device from you jacket without having to operate it (the device) thanks to the control panel on the sleeve. Made of micro-nylon it is thermally taped to keep all the interiors secure even during washing.” (6) “The connecting part is placed in the pocket, which allows you to connect your iPhone, iPod, or other devices through a PANiQ controller. Then you can directly control the portable device with the icons on the sleeve instead of the device’s buttons.” (7) Some companies are even incorporating this technology in suiting, broadening the market. (9) Clever pockets like these are attracting paying customers, promoting new technology development in apparel companies. Some designs, however, are causing more harm than good, raising some concerning questions from consumers: “I was concerned initially by the pockets’ magnetic closure system. I wondered whether putting a device with a magnetic hard drive or something that uses magnetic tape might be affected by the jacket’s magnets. The company assured me, however, that it has done extensive testing and found no ill effects to the gadgets. One additional note on the magnets is that they may affect pacemakers, so check with your doc before buying.” (8) Other features sure as customized pockets, eliminate extra luggage or bags. “Frequent fliers know what a pain it can be toting around loads of gadgets. The Scottevest carry-on coat might be a great solution, storing tablets, phones, a digital camera and even several changes of clothing without bulges. It also has a Teflon-treated outer shell, which will keep you warm and dry. All totaled, the coat has 33 pockets to keep things hidden away.” (10) “It basically doubles as a carry-on bag that you wear.” (11)