Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Smartphones - The Good, the Bad and the Money. The Top 10 In-Effective Habits of Smartphone Zombies
The smartphone has change the way society interacts with each other. Who would have predicted that the personal communication device unveiled in the Star Trek series from the 1960’s would become a reality in 2016, but it has.


The increase in functionally and use of smartphones has created a side effect not anticipated by the inventors, just like prescription drugs. It started out in the business community as the "Crackberry" addiction and now has spread to “Smartphone Zombie” status and governments are taking action to ensure the safety of their citizens as it spreads.

How are people addicted to their smartphones? This chart from Catalyst Canada and GroupM Next on the Canadian Mobile Market 2015 shows 22 different ways people are distracted using their smartphone with games, banking/bills, twitter/Facebook , weather and directions as the top five uses. Texting and phone stats was not reported in the study.


A Smartphone Zombie is a person that goes in a trance and does not notice any of their surroundings and their dependency on the smartphone shuts off other senses and rational behaviour. To have some fun on the topic, below is a top 10 list of in-effective habits for smartphone zombies. See if you are one.


The Top 10 In-Effective Habits of Smartphone Zombies 

If you have suffered from three or more of these habits or symptoms, please go to a smartphone addiction counsellor as you are at risk of becoming a zombie—which is a terminal condition as you will be part the living dead.

1. In a crowded room you hear a beep and grab your smartphone in a nervous twitch. This is an early symptom of being a smartphone zombie, diagnosed as the Crackberry addiction.

2. You are constantly checking your smartphone for email wherever you go, even in meetings with real people. Another early warning sign, you will need to go to a life fear management session or get a medical marijuana prescription so you can calm down.

3. When your battery is dead you suffer from anxiety attacks, as people cannot reach you. This is another symptom of the Crackberry addiction; it is best that you not use the smartphone for 48 hours until the anxiety subsides.

4. You hide in a room and text with your friends. You forget how to communicate verbally with friends and family. This “zombie like trance” of non-verbal communication is a  clear sign that you lack any people skills and will lead to a dysfunctional state of mind.

5. When you misplace your smartphone you have a panic attack when you search your house or work looking for the smartphone. If you suffer from these panic attacks you better go see your doctor, as this is unhealthy as this may lead to other medical conditions.

6. Looking at your smartphone while walking and bumping into a person, mailbox or pole. In the UK due to the high number of zombie accidents on pedestrian walkways they plan to have padded poles on all sidewalks and in China they have smartphone lanes where people cannot stand still in.

7. Crossing the street while texting and not noticing it is a red light. This is one of the more dangerous habits as you may only do this once, except in NY where drivers are accustomed to people walking through red lights. Apparently, in Georgia texting and walking or driving is still OK.  Must be the right to free speech thing they like to talk about a lot in the USA.

 8. You sleep with your smartphone in bed as it makes you feel secure. If you tend to have this phobia, you better go to the country or cottage and get some rehab and disconnect for a while. You better get a teddy bear to help with the withdrawal symptoms during your 60 day rehab.

9. Slowing down traffic at a traffic light while checking for a text or email message. You ever notice why a car is standing still at a stop light while its green. Now you know. This can be a cause of driver fury on the roads from these in-attentive drivers.

10. Texting while driving and causing a traffic accident by hitting the car in front of you. It has been estimated that 23% of all car accidents are caused by texting and driving. My guess repeat offenders in the future will have to disconnect their phone before the car can start, just like they do for drinking and driving.

Through a little humour and bad jokes, I want to rekindle the “ technology vs. people“ debate with the use of a smartphones zombie metaphor, as it seems that society is becoming a slave to technology and that is not right. This can happen with publishers if you let technology drive your business process and not the other way around. Publishers should be in control, as technology is not always right, but in fact has a high failure rate.

In the January 2016 issue of Direct Marketing News on CRM technology, Leigh-Ann Clarke states that the failure rate of CRM technologies is estimated at 30-70%, as the design focus is on software rather than the customer. So perhaps, the marketing and advertising opportunities in the mobile world for publishers is overrated, if we assume the same failure rates as a benchmark. But at the same time, 40-50% of web traffic and email newsletter is now mobile so there is an opportunity for publishers, just not as big as was thought. Just a thought to ponder.
- Martin Seto
About Me
Martin Seto

Martin Seto is the producer of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAS) with 30 years of life expereince in technology, advertising, media and creative exploration. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at)
reflexmediasales.com or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

Most Recent Blog Comment
Lorene Shyba says:
Full of terrific information, Thanks!...
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