Do You Get Battery Anxiety?

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Today we’re gonna talk about portable battery chargers. They’re these little things you carry around and when your phone or your ipad or whatever gets low on juice you plug ‘em in and get to keep using your DEVICE. It’s a battery… to charge your battery! They’re popular for travelers, ever present on the conference circuit, and I hear you see ‘em in schools more as teachers get more tolerant of MOBILE PHONE USE. You got a buncha classes or panels or whatever throughout the day, gotta take photos or notes or post to twitter, use maps, you’re gonna run through your battery really quick. And that’s, I mean, you can’t have that right? Dead phone? YOU MIGHT AS WELL BE DEAD. Which brings us to something called, “Battery Anxiety” also referred to as “NOMOPHOBIA” (fear of being without one’s mobile device). We’ve all felt it, that sinking feeling while browsing Instagram or Facebook when you see that little red bar appear saying you’ve got less than 20% battery remaining. But why do we feel this way? Let us know what you think in the comments below!


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Written and hosted by Mike Rugnetta (@mikerugnetta)
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  • Since Mike has a Gudetama phone case, I'm kind surprised there hasn't been an episode about Gudetama's relatability is a symbolic of life in the modern world. Or something like that.

  • Story time. The other day I was walking about, playing Pokemon Go in -7 Celsius, and discovered that my phone battery apparently doesn't function when exposed to that temperature for an extended period of time. It went from 56% to suddenly 1%, then shut off completely and wouldn't start up again. I was very anxious until I deduced the cause of it, the cold, which calmed me down since I knew I just had to walk home and warm it up.

  • I'm a statistical outlier, I wouldn't mind carrying around a brick of a device if it housed a powerful processor, a removable high capacity battery and was extremely shock resistance. Bonus points if it came with a crappy camera and a powerful speaker.

  • I have a corollary to the bludgeoning uses of technology, which I fully understand. I like some heft to my tech. I also will not get a dog that I don't feel like I could take in a fight, but which would at least put up a challenge. Like I can't stand teeny toy breeds, but I don't want a Saint Bernard either and my thought process is literally. If this dog goes nuts could I take it down, but like not too easily. #brainsareweird

  • You're right, I have MAJOR phone anxiety. But I have to charge my phone when it gets to 50% because it dies within 10 minutes if it gets to 40%. So, I don't usually see the 'Low Battery: 5…4…3…2…1…0…Shutting Down.

  • Eh, if you go onto the XDA forums, you'll find plenty of people capturing complex statistics on battery usage. Not something that separates Portuguese teenagers from anyone actually interested in improving a phone's battery performance. For anyone actually reading this with an Android phone: look to get it rooted, and look into other kernels available for your phone. Unless you are a mobile gamer, the default "governor" for your CPU is overperformant and by setting a governor (with your new kernel) to a more conservative one, you can add upwards of 4 hours to your battery life (specifically the "battery life" that people care most about: screen-on time, or how long you can have your screen on per charge session).

  • This doesn't happen to me with my phone (mostly because it barely works) but I have had moments when I feel a bit anxious when I get a battery warning while playing videogames. most games it's fine i can pause the game and find the charger but on the rare occasion when I can't do that like when I'm playing Titanfall 2 multiplayer or when I was trying to force my way through Dark souls and later Bloodborne ( good games but very much not for me) I would feel a very real moment of panic because pause isn't an option.

    Thankfully battery life on both XBoxone and PS4 are pretty generous so it doesn't happen that often.

  • This was a very interesting episode for me, since I have personally thought long and hard about battery anxiety and power banks since I am an industrial designer and my company just started selling a power bank I designed (sorry for the shameless plug, but I can't resist here).

    Even though most people seem to have thought about having a power bank to prevent battery anxiety, they have not thought much about actually using such a power bank with their phone. Most power banks make you tether your phone with a long cable to a brick-shaped power bank, which makes charging up your phone with them awkward, cumbersome, difficult, and strange-looking, particularly if you are trying to use the phone at the same time that you are charging it. You have to do a juggling act of trying to use your phone while also holding and managing the power bank and cord, probably requiring both hands. Battery cases solve this, but only if you want to buy a model-specific battery case, which adds permanent added thickness and weight to your phone, and you have to buy a new one every time you get a new phone. With stand-alone power banks, you also have to worry about hauling around a cable. Having battery anxiety with a power bank that doesn't include built-in cables might lead to "cable anxiety," since such a power bank is useless without also having a cable to connect it to your phone.

    We thought through this a lot, and came up with a new design for a power bank that you can use with your phone that adds a lot of convenience. It's thin and attaches temporarily with our Sticky Pad technology directly to the back of your phone, which makes it easy to handle in one hand, and it includes built-in cables for both iPhone and Android phones, so everything that is needed is readily available to charge your phone. In addition, it has pass-through charging technology, so you can charge it at the same time you usually charge your phone (e.g. at night). We think our solution, the Griptyte Power™ 3000, is unique in the market, and worth checking out. Here's the link:

  • I don't get battery anxiety except in one situation, and that's when travelling home alone at night from work when it's a long way home. It's not that I want to be able to entertain myself (I always have a book with me) but a hangover from when I had someone to get home to who would worry if I didn't call and say if my train was delayed. The necessity to be able to contact someone isn't there anymore, but the odd anxiety remains. I do have a battery pack, but mostly it lives in my gym bag since I use my phone for music in the gym and it would just annoy me to not have it. So I think on the whole, my battery anxiety is pretty pragmatic…. as anxiety so often is. But that's a rant for another time.

  • So interesting that you bring this up, was thinking the other day about how I often have to remind myself that when my phone dies and goes black, my vision isn't going to do the same; I'm not going to stop existing, die with it.

  • One of topics I discuss with my students is how the language of technology and the language life seem to be shared (e.g. "I need to recharge," "I just put my computer to sleep"), so this video is excellent in the ways that it addresses the affect associated with these representations.

    My phone has a pretty strong battery right now, but I do make the conscious choice to limit the amount of Pokemon Go I play when I'm out and about! Only once per day, and usually at the end of the day when I'm walking to my car. I remember when the game was first released: my friends and I would wander around campus until one of our phones was close to dying, then we would go to the library, take a break, and recharge our phones. I was carrying around my chord at the time. At one point I did consider buying a portable charger in the style of a Pokedex!

  • I recently (though six months ago which in phone years is a decade) got an LG G5… And one of its selling points is an interchangeable battery with a battery charging cradle… And so while walking around Disneyland with my husband, in my bag I have a battery pack (not the flashy orange but a very clunky and serviceable black monstrosity) charging my spare batteries in their battery cradles, which I then switch out when I hit about 30% and am able to be unplugged. No strings. Somehow this makes me feel superior to the people walking around walking around with their life support permanently tethered to themselves….and it's absolutely ridiculous. I have no less than three batteries, two cords, and two cradles in my bag for the purpose of keeping my phone alive and cordless… And I don't know why….except also Pokémon.

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