I have two relationships with my devices. The first is as a technological aficionado, in which I serve as a patron and critical analyst. The second is as an end user, in which I depend on the device in my daily life.
I am not one of those people who literally can't be separated from their phone, but I will admit having "information pangs" when I find myself without it. The information I could miss is mostly unimportant. And the time frame of being without it is very short. But the feelings of dependency are real and show the big part of my existence my phone occupies.
I got my first smartphone, an iPhone 4, in early 2011, followed by an iPhone 5 in late 2012. The tail end of a device's technological supremacy always starts to feel like a bottleneck in terms of speed as well as usefulness. I am at that point with my iPhone 5 after only a little more than a year later. I can feel that the device is heavily mediating my interactions rather than facilitating them, even though just a year earlier I felt more empowered than hindered. It strains me to channel my human senses back and forth through a thin aluminum brick.
Getting used to a level of speed or information density makes it hard to go backward. This is why we need new, innovative ways to process and keep track of all the data we have conditioned ourselves to accept and produce. My iPhone 5 is but an awkward transitional design paradigm that will lead to something better, and hopefully, something more conducive to handling our human senses.