'Gadget addict' Great Britain faces a turbulent future

By Gabrielle Pickard
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, September 21, 2009
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The UK, it seems, are quickly catching up China with their love-affair for computers and technology. But whilst China's methods to cure internet addiction are mired in controversy, Britain can also be criticized for promoting dependency on technological gadgets and encouraging a "tech to impress" society. With digitally re-mastered Beatles CDs, "techno teen" competitions to improve government websites and women purchasing laptops over lipsticks, who are the winners and who are the losers in today's gadget craving society? And should the UK, like China, be asserting their efforts by implementing methods to deter this type of culture instead of embracing it, especially amongst?

Casually glancing round to check if anyone had noticed the ivory netbook she had pulled out of her handbag, 34-year-old Jane Wright admits to purchasing the latest technology to enhance her image by oozing affluence and style. But the high-flying media sales woman from London was shamefully "outdone" by her even higher-flying palates partner who coolly emailed her boss on her "palates" break from her black, shiny and compact Blackberry.

Technology, it seems, is now surpassing clothes in the quest to conquer rival's on style, and according to a survey carried out by Microsoft, women are particularly vulnerable to the "tech to impress" phenomenon. A survey on uk.new.yahoo.com, revealed that almost 50 percent of the 1000 participants said that technology is now as an important fashion asset as clothes and admitted to regularly choosing to buy gadgets over articles of clothing to be the envy of friends and colleagues.

14-year-old Alica Howarth prefers technology to clothes and says she is a "gadget addict"!

Technology manufacturers are recognizing the importance of producing good looking devices to appeal to women, many of whom are buying novel gadgets for the sole purpose to "look good". According to Yahoo News, Microsoft's "tech to impress" study, nearly a quarter of the British population admitted that they were more inclined to purchase a piece of technology for aesthetic rather than technological attributes.

Posing with the latest gadget is arguably even more prevalent in schools than in trendy London coffee shops, as kids today, it seems, are even more pressurized to "pose in the playground" with the latest piece of technology.

When asked about their technology purchasing habits, nearly all pupils in a class in a school in London said that they strive to bring to school the "trendiest" gadgets available. Mobile phones, ipods and digital cameras were the three most "essential" and therefore competitive accessories to own. 15-year-old Claire, a pupil at the London school, admitted to being unashamedly flamboyant in her choice of technological accessories and echoes the Microsoft report that technology is more important than clothing in a person's overall fashion image.

According to Claire: "All the kids in the 'in-crowd' own a Blackberry, or a netbook. They are far more important than your make of trainers or bag. I mean I wouldn't be seen dead without my Blackberry!"

Joanna, Claire's slightly less overt classmate, recognizes the pressure technology-conscious children put on parents. She said: "My Mum and Dad simply can't afford to buy me the latest gadget and let's face it, they come in and out of fashion as quickly as Topshop's jeans!"

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