Are Smartphones The New Cigarettes?


Ian Bogost considers the possible demise of RIM, the company that gave us the Blackberry:

The point is that technologies like the Blackberry change our social fabric in ways that we often cannot see, and therefore cannot fully reason about. McLuhan argued that technologies can never be fully grasped in the present, but only after we establish some distance from them. Today we lament the downfall of Research In Motion as if it were an athlete whose prodigious career was cut short by hubris. But perhaps the truth is even weirder than that. Ruined or not, Blackberry has left us with the most distinctive social tic since cigarettes. And cigarettes may be deadly and disgusting, but they're cool and chic too.

(Photo by Quinn Dombrowski)