When we are talking about addictions before I came to Indonesia I knew about drug addicts, alcohol addicts, computer addicts and maybe few more but Indonesia and people told me, the whole SE Asia has this telephone addiction problem. Everybody I know has at least 2 and sometimes 3 phones and one of them is blackberry or blueberry or strawberry or... whatever is it called. Before they even say hello, how are you, what is your name they will ask your phone number and after having your phone number they will ask you if you have blackberry messenger. That messenger is the cheapest way of non-stop chatting and Indonesians are holding their blackberry devices all the time and they are typing all the time. When I say all the time, I really mean it. Not only blackberry, but all types of phones. They are just typing and typing.
Millions of messages are going around Indonesia every day and even when they go out together they will look at their phones, they will chat or send messages and they rarely talk to each other. Sometimes I ask myself what is the purpose of leaving the house when you can do that from your bed too. You don't need to go out.
Few nights ago Sonia and I spend some time in Pakuwon food Festival and we were looking at the couple, a guy and a girl sitting across each other, eating and not putting a single look at each other but constantly looking at their phones. After 30 minutes we got tired of looking at them but they still didn't got bored looking at their phones. Maybe they were chatting to each other. :)
When you don't reply to a message to Indonesian person you will get another message after 3 or 4 minutes asking "Why you didn't reply to my message?" or "Did you get my message?". Since they are constantly holding their phones, you should do that too and you should answer their message immediately. One of the guys I worked with in English school send me a message at 7AM. As a normal European person who doesn't have any reason to get up before 9AM I just ignored the message and continued sleeping. After 4 minutes I got one of those "Why you didn't reply to my message?". Of course that one got me completely awake so I decided to get up and have a shower and start working on my hostels.st projects. When I came back from the shower my phone was ringing off the hook and it was him. I answered with my sleepy voice and told him that I sleep. Well, basically he was going on my nerves and I haven't had much to talk to him so I just wanted to get him off. When I told him that I was sleeping he continued talking, wasn't really aware of the thing that he should quit the call and maybe call later when bule gets up. So I hanged up. So he called again. I switched off my phone. After that I gave him really hard time in the school and gave him quite a lesson about what he should do if someone tells him that he/she is sleeping.
Right now almost all the phones have cameras on them and that gives Indonesians a perfect way to bring up their other passion: taking photos, of them of course. They will take their photo anytime, anywhere and they will immediately put it on Facebook. And, of course, everybody wants to have a photo with bule. In the middle of the street, on the beach, in shopping mall, in the toilet of shopping mall, in restaurant, at university... anywhere. Sometimes I see people taking pictures of me from the distance and they think I didn't notice. I think at least 1000 people asked me to take photo with me. Sonia is more popular, she had around 10.000 requests. :D Once I asked money from a guy who took photo of me while I was sitting in warung and eating. I went to him and asked 50.000Rp for a photo of me and he got completely lost. He said that he doesn't have that much money so I told him to delete photos and the poor man did. :D
Surely there is no need to tell you about the gadgets, ipods, ipads, iphones, mp3 players, laptops and all other gadgets they are always carrying around with them. Absolutely technology addicted :)