Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Definition: Phone Potato

I mentioned this in a prior post, and got a couple of sideways looks... so.. here's the definition of a Phone Potato (aka "mobile 'tater", derived from the english "couch potato, which is also taken from the latin root "potato" which means "useless until cooked and eaten").

You’ve seen them. They are always “on the phone” – not always talking, but always on... in one of two positions...
Position 1: phone pressed to head - lips blabbing.
Position 2: phone clutched in hands - fingers flailing.
They’re totally connected to anyone they know for... well, whatever...
They never look up at you, even if they decide to talk to you.

These people are in their own state of aloneness, interacting with a device which may or may not include others on the far end (It’s not just for phone calls anymore). They can not bear to be without their phone and they are always actively using it, regardless of what else might be happening at the time. They’re doing it while they walk, while they drive, while they eat, while they hang out with their family. There’s no place they won’t answer the phone – car, restaurant, doctor’s office waiting room, even the potty is in-bounds (regardless of whether their counterpart on the other end cares to hear toilets flushing and, whatever else - they probably even shamelessly say “one sec” while they absolutely need both hands for... you know...). These are the people who would probably halt sex to read that text message.

How do they keep their phone charged? Talking is just one thing – texting is the other... doing everything from finding out what street corner their friends are hanging out on (which is sort of useless, since they have no intention of actually moving their body to that location when they are perfectly happy texting), to checking out the latest buzz on celebrity-gossip or, more likely, school-gossip.. AHA! School...yes... these are often kids... The mobile marketers must have an official age range they target – probably 13-18. They’re a huge crop of potatoes, but they’re not the only ones... the ultra-mobile (ultra-young) professional might be the next largest crop. Always on, always working. They equate being on the phone with working, or, when they are physically at work, they’re multi-tasking across their social and professional existences, which are likely so overlapped, that they are virtually one thing.

Quick - Here come a few now! Get me a pot of boiling water and some sour cream - I'm hungry...

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