Several people questioned why anyone needs all these gadgets in the first place with one person asking whether all of these expensive to use techno-toys are mainly for "ego." Another writer wondered aloud whether these costs "in combination with the escalating costs of food, energy, and housing will soon enough fragment the United States into information "haves" and "have nots." Someone else opined, "doesn't seem to me that the economy is hurting when people are still spending money on stupid things!"
Another person wondered about the impact of this technology on young people: "I don't think it wise for our youth to have these things available to them all day. I think it removes the ability to experience the joy of the task of finding the information for themselves instead of having it handed to them in four seconds."
The responses – though not always kind to this writer – are exactly what I hoped to hear from readers. I realize that some people regard me and my fellow technology reviewers as pied pipers, advocating that we spend all of our money consuming every gadget that comes along. But, truth be told, I agree with the sentiments of many people who question our national obsession with technology. I especially feel this way this week after spending the last several days witnessing a virtual orgy of lust over the iPhone followed up by a day at a conference aimed at marketing to teens.
On Tuesday I moderated a cyberbullying panel at the "Ypulse Mashup" in San Francisco where several hundred people gathered to hear about "reaching today's totally wired generation with technology." With the exception of a few presentations, the two-day event was mostly about the art and science of selling stuff to kids, with presentations such as "How to Successfully Reach Youth on Social Networks" and "Brand Engagement in Virtual Worlds for Youth." One sponsored case study promised to deliver "immersive marketing insights to help you crack the codes of viral youth marketing."
I understand that people need to make a living and it doesn't surprise me that there are plenty of businesses out there wanting to tap into the estimated $200 billion spent on or by teens and tweens every year. But between iPhone mania and a day listening to teen and marketing experts, I was kind of happy to read some cynical comments from some of you here on CBSNews.com.