Energophobia: a very modern disease

(This article was written in 2013.  Since then a lot of manufacturers have followed my advice and batteries have indeed got bigger.)

It is pretty rare these days to find something that a Google search cannot.  I mean zilch. Nothing.  It immediately guessed I was looking for agoraphobia.  But I am not looking for a fear of  places that might make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.   I am looking for a much more common fear which affects most of us.  You know when you sit down and your first thought is to charge your phone?  When you drive and plug in “just in case”?  Energophobia (ενεργοφοβία) is the fear of running out of power on one of the many devices you carry around.  Usually your smartphone.

This condition remains a mystery to me.  Because it seems so easy to solve.  Most phones’ batteries have a 3000 (don’t care what the units are) battery.  Even ridiculously expensive new iPhones can hardly last a day.  They keep talking about improvements here and there for battery life.  Why not just give it a bigger battery?  I can buy a phone with three times the battery (10000) or twice the battery for less than 150 dollars and go for days.  Hell, they support USB on the go, so I can even charge your iPhone for you!  And OK, Apple is weird about doing multiple phone models, why don’t Android phone makers, give the damn things bigger batteries?

The only obvious answer is that people don’t want to pay for it.  Which makes even less sense.  You want a slim phone so much that you prefer to live with a constant anxiety about running out of battery?  You prefer to carry so many accessories, which probably weigh more than a second phone in total,  instead of a very slightly heavier phone?  I would love for a major manufacturer to just try out my hypothesis.  Make a flagship model with a bigger battery.  Not double, just enough more power so that you can easily get through a working day without even thinking about having to charge.  Without worrying about being an energy beggar anywhere you take a break.

In any case, please think about it.  Talk to your shrink and let me know.

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