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Psychology of Technology: EnFuziasm

I didn’t see it coming. Though I have always been interested in technology and was typically an early adapter, there were no indications of what would happen to me when I bought my Fuze back in November of 2008.

It all began when I decided to buy a new phone from AT&T to replace my Palm 680. I knew I didn’t want an iPhone because, well, I never drank the Apple-flavored Kool-Aid. What sold me on the Fuze was the physical keyboard and small footprint. Then it happened. I was reading reviews on line and came across a web site called It was eminently readable, the posts practical, and the forums friendly.

When my Fuze arrived, I returned to and learned that I could actually customize it; I could make it perform better (by doing “tweaks”), add cool programs (called “apps”), and if I really had guts, I could “flash a ROM or radio” (whatever they were). My Fuze wasn’t just a smartphone; it was a full-blown computer that I could carry around in my pocket. I was totally enFuziastic about it!

For the next six months, I was, dare I say, addicted. Given my line of work, I was a bit worried about my obsession. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent reading, downloading and installing tweaks and apps (somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 to date), pestering people on the forums (such a noob!), and ultimately flashing two ROMs and two new radios (sorry, Matt, I don’t qualify as a flashing whore, but more on that in another post). During the day, I would check more times than I’m willing to admit to. I just couldn’t stop till I got my Fuze just right. When my wife asked me what I was doing in my office downstairs in the evening, I would tell her I was tinkering with my phone. She would roll her eyes. I told her better this than Internet porn.

And an amazing thing happened. I was learning a lot about how computers work. I began to actually respond to questions in the forums, helping others solve their problems. I was upgraded from junior member to senior member to contributor. And then Super Doug, our faithful administrator, posted a request for contributors. My narcissism and love of writing just couldn’t resist the opportunity. So here I am, actually contributing to a field that I knew nothing about eight months ago (ain’t the Internet grand?), continuing to learn from the true Masters of the Fuziverse (I just made that up; what do you think?), and, most importantly, having fun giving back to a community that has been so generous with me.

And I’m happy to say, now that my Fuze is as tweaked and apped as it can be (just flashed the latest Blackstone radio and installed Opera 9.7), my obsession with my Fuze has downgraded to just enFuziasm.

So a big thanks to . And a big round of applause for Super Doug, David (Special) K, Hergified, Mobile Matt, Farmer Ted, and Helter Skelter for being the Obi Wans and Yodas to all of us aspiring Lukes!