Over the next 3 weeks, I am blogging a 3 part series about how Social Media and Smartphones are the best technology marriage we have seen in years, how smartphones are driving a new web environment and how are smartphones are going to replace our wallets. Tune in to week 2 below!
How much do we use our Smartphones? Stop and think about this. Now, how much do we rely on our smartphones?
Recently, I have been watching how we are all constantly addicted to our smartphones, how we cannot put them down for more than 30 minutes and how we all use them to gather information from where ever we are, whenever we are there.
Yes, the web is becoming more and more mobile, and smartphones are driving this change. We have more phones accessing the internet than ever before, we perform more transactions on the spot, we are sharing more opinions and reviews through our networks, we’re gathering the latest news at the touch of our fingertips and generally spending more of our spare time on our phones.
Is this a good or a bad thing?
The days were we sit at our desk, log on and browse the internet are slowly fading. We now live in an age where all things mobile, all things on the go require the internet. Yet, if we look back about 5 years, can you even remember a world without browsing the net ‘on the go’? This massive leap in technology which has allowed us to constantly stay in touch and remain connected to the web can be taken as a positive or negative (depending on your views, and we all know what David Cameron thinks!)
Recently, Mark Pesce wrote an article about how a research company has now found that 49% of Australians own smartphones. That’s the largest in the world. Tiffany Shlain, displayed through her beautifully filmed documentary ‘Connected’ how we all really are connected.
We constantly want to tune into the conversation, add to the conversation, build the conversation and debunk the conversation online, yet we all don’t have much choice in maintaining our driven and ever efficient lifestyles.
As such, we turn to our technology. To our personal computers we carry in our pockets. To our Smart Phones.
And why shouldn’t we? Smartphone producers offer us a connection to a world we all are now addicted to be a part off. Businesses now allow us to search and interact with them at the point of purchase, sale, waiting for our food, finding a daily deal or joining their online presence as part of their digital assets. Consumers now spend time searching their social contacts and databases for opinions, feedback and ratings before making a purchase, because businesses no longer control the purchasing power – the collective voice does. And what better way to access this information? From your very own Smartphone when you need it most – before you make that purchasing decision.
Using our smartphones we are now also posting our reviews and sharing these within our social networks. For businesses this means having a 24/7 Social Media monitoring policy to quickly find, mitigate and turn around any negative feedback about their organisation. We all know how fast the effects of viral negative-word-of-mouth can be against any business or person. What some businesses don’t know is that this is so damaging, it actually reduces revenue down the track in a chain reaction manner.
We love to be able to share our satisfaction and dissatisfaction about where we are, what we are doing, what we are buying and how we are being treated. However, we are not keeping the thoughts in our heads, waiting until we get home to post this. No, rather we are simply taking our smartphones out of our pockets, and posting this information to every possible connection we have. What is fascinating, is that never before in history, have we all been so connected to so many people.
This brings about an amazing feature from our smartphones. Being connected to so many people, we have in our very pockets a powerful global news network that is 100% user generated content. This helps spread information so fast, that it has now eclipsed the traditional news methods and we can now source our news from our smartphones from any location whilst we are on the go. Once again, have a think about the implications here. Breaking news out of Washington DC (24/08/2011) reached us in Sydney within minutes of it occurring. We have the power to make decisions about global events that impact our purchases whilst on the go from anywhere we are when we check our Smartphone.
This feeds into our addictions of being connected to the constant stream of information. This feeds our desires to find the best value for our hard earned money, and best outcome for our choices. This addiction only keeps growing with more and more of our time being spent online. Not because we are spending more time in front of a computer. No, rather because we are now spending more time being connected to the world through our smartphones.
So where does it stop? When does the addiction end? When do we go back to the way we use to be? Simply put: Never. As mentioned above, it’s literally hard to remember a history without the use of phones. Even harder to remember what we use to do in our spare time when we were ‘unplugged’ from the global grid. Later this year, we will be able to use our mobile phone as our wallets, thereby replacing all cash and card requirements. Google Wallet will launch this year. Most phones now come with a NFC chip or are being manufactured with this chip, to allow for transactions using your phone. Businesses are now also starting to utilise QR Codes, allowing content to be decoded at high speeds. Not from our desktops, but rather our smartphones. But more on this next week.
For now, I conclude in saying feed your addiction, don’t fight it. We are all headed in the same direction and are using our smartphones more and more for everyday purposes – both personal and business orientated. Utilise the power of the web at your fingertips whilst on the go, and this will help you in making better choices for your purchases, wants and needs out there in a big bad (digital) world.
So leave me a comment, and tell me … How much do you use your Smartphone? Nay, how much do you rely on your Smartphone?
As Always – Share + Enjoy!
Next Week’s Blog Teaser: Introducing the Mobile Wallet?
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