Portmanteau Commentary: We Love the Power - the shift to consumer driven technology

Do you realize we're the last generation who grew up, at least part of their childhood, without internet, mobile phones or even - o shock and horror - without iPhones (or blackberries, for you PC people out there)?

This became incredibly apparent when I started getting panic attacks imagining being without constant access to the internet whilst comfortably lodged at my grandmother's house the coming month, who very impressively uses email like no other, but still enjoys the non-comfort of a dial up connection on a ten year old PC laptop (they're so sturdy, aren't they, those android things). This was eased when I found out that installing wireless will be able to be done in a jiffy. Problem sorted.

However, the revelation remains, and it's a scary one at that. I have come to rely on the fact that I can leave my house and still be connected. I know this sounds incredibly obvious, but think back ten years. Do you remember the maps, address books, slight panic at 5 minute lateness of friends, racking the brain for that name of that actor of that film... Yes, this was not long ago. Now, I rely on the fact that all this does not have to happen. That I can be in control, never lost, save time, always in reach of knowledge via Google, Wikipedia, eBay and other applications (the use of which has risen to 13million downloads this year. Seriously). That I am never alone. And that my bag is a lot lighter and emptier, leaving space to carry an extra pair of flats so I keep the usage of my Prada heels to a minimum. And most importantly, that I am independent from the help of anybody else. The dependency is based solely on a single object.

Given that, I started to look up some facts (I am a journalist geek, what do you want?) and it's astounding. "Looking up facts" involved scouring - you guessed it- the internet but luckily also involved getting invited to the Primrose Bakery to a panel discussion of the new "Hip to be Square" Motorola flip out phones.

Remember how I was talking about "ten years ago"? Scrap that. Think back merely TWO years ago. The use of smart phones has risen to 20% of all phones in the UK from 1% last year. No, this isn't a joke. I thought it was going to be a number around that of 70%, which is being predicted is what the use of smart phones is going to rise to in the next few years. And there I was, in my relatively small world of fashionistas in London, thinking it was representable of people in the UK in general. Still, that is quite a scary number to observe.

As Victoria McManus, the UK Marketing Director of Motorola pointed out, the phones we use are no longer merely about fashion. Or functionality. If it were about functionality only we'd still be walking around with those adorable android Nokia sets. Remember them? I left mine outside in a thunderstorm by mistake and found it dripping water from its speakers. It was a sad day. "It's about how smart your phone is as well as about how fashionable it is" says Victoria, and I agree. It's not just about making phone calls, it's about the applications and how far you can rely on that single object to make you look as good, communicative and intelligent as possible.

Since I'm an eBay addict if ever there was one, the eBay app obviously graces the front cover of my application listings on my iPhone. For those of you equally as interested in facts and statistics as me (knowing they are never really what they seem, but still impressive) 9mil people in UK downloaded the eBay application. I had a strange mix of surprise and "I knew it"- sensation when I was told by Ruth Szwszkowski, the spokesperson for eBay Europe, that more eBay apps were downloaded in the UK than anywhere else in Europe. It made me chuckle, and a bit worried to know that I am one of the people in such a large group.

And then another reason transpired as to why applications as we know it are so popular in comparison to android applications as created by the makers of the respective objects (technically they're both android, but let's ease the distinction and say they're not). "Androids development and creation is guarded. Applications as we know it can be done by anybody. The technology becomes consumer driven, the balance of power is inverted. Consumers can now make or break a brand." Peter Cross, the Managing Partner of YellowDoor made the most poignant point of the evening.

It truly outlines the psychology of the popularity of the democratic power of technology that has been introduced. Because don't we bloggers know it better than anyone else... we love the power. And we're here to take it.