The Folksonomic Zeitgeist

“Hello? Oh, hi! Nothing, really. What’s up with you?”

According to a study by BBDO Worldwide and Proximity Worldwide, 14% of all mobile-phone users worldwide say they’ll interrupt sex to answer the phone. The biggest buzzkillers are in Germany and Spain, with rates of 22 percent; the smallest are in Italy, with 7 per cent practicing cell phone interruptus. As Ad Age reports:

“People can’t bear to miss a call,” said Christine Hannis, head of communications for BBDO Europe. “Everybody thinks the next call can be something really exciting. And getting so many calls proves social success,” she said. “It fulfills a fundamental insecurity.”

It reminds me of a moment in the infamous Paris Hilton sex tape, in which Hilton’s phone rings and she lunges across the bed to answer it. Her crepuscular boyfriend — who’s operating the night-vision videocamera — immediately bitches her out for the interruption. What a lovely diorama of modern high-tech romance: The boyfriend criticizes her for answering her phone during sex, while he’s busy voyeurcamming it. Classy.

(Thanks to Boing Boing for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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