There was a very good comment this morning made on the French Radio France Inter. I like to hear this radio channel because of its very high quality content.
So the chronic - you can even listen to the French podcast - argues that iPads, iPhones, the need to consult feeds and Twitter all the time have to do with our desire to anticipate the future - at least the near one. They also link the 9/11 to the time this anticipation came to be a political decision, translating in lots of money being invested monitoring networks and all kind of monitoring data in almost real time to find out who is about to do harm. Notice that's also short before Minority Report came out. Also there is a similar trend going on in finance, and now other areas - medicine, police investigations, etc.
But one might argue also that this is no new fact, and also do to with the wide use of the Web, which allows such processes in the first time. Actually, people always wanted to know the future, that may be for winning wars or for getting the seeds planted at the right time.
One side effect of that, is that all this tech gears has quite some influence on people behaviors. It's harder to meet people spontaneously it seems to me. Many tell they're busy while they're actually probably checking out Facebook or playing online games (or blogging...). Friends used to just come by my apartment. People used to just meet at the local bar around the same time every week.
It seems to me that I meet less people that I used before I was on Facebook. I may be biased. But we should remember that personal relationships matters more than things happening online.