Owning a cell phone is now as important as the clothes on your back. The numbers are staggering with a majority of people on the planet owning or using a mobile device at any given time. Landlines and public pay phones are slowly disappearing as the cost of instant communication becomes manageable for almost every demographic. It is at the point that cell phones are taking precedence over basic needs such as optimal food choices or traditional learning practices. It is a mobile market domination that has rapidly catapulted our society into a digital stratosphere which is enhancing as well as detracting our quality of life, all at once.
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The Digital Appendage
Instant gratification has embedded itself into almost everyone’s daily lives simply by using a mobile device. No longer do people say, “I don’t know” to a question, instead they simply pull out their phone and say, “Let’s look it up.” This may account for the exponential rise of mobile Google searches as well as a mobile marketing trend citing how consumers are online, on their phones, more than their computers.
With so much information at our fingertips it is no wonder that 10 billion connected devices are predicted for 2017. It is at the point that to be without your cell phone is to feel “naked” and unable to complete daily activities resulting in the potential for high anxiety. Now, our mobile devices are practically an additional appendage, always at the ready for sometimes important but mostly unproductive tasks.
The mobile market domination has enabled us to stay connected to friends, loved ones and career responsibilities. Having the ability to reduce lost time, lost information or simply getting lost can all be attributed to the wonders of cell phone usage. Yet some studies reveal that being too attached to our device could be a pitfall.
In a report by the research firm Pacific Standard it was found that,
“Even without active use, the presence of mobile technologies has the potential to divert individuals from face-to-face exchanges, thereby undermining the character and depth of these connections. Individuals are more likely to miss subtle cues, facial expressions, and changes in the tone of their conversation partner’s voice, and have less eye contact.”
It goes on to explain how the mere presence of a device detracts from interpersonal communication,
“If either participant placed a mobile communication device on the table, or held it in their hand, during the course of the 10-minute conversation, the quality of the conversation was rated to be less fulfilling, compared with conversations that took place in the absence of mobile devices,”
The Mobile Wallet
With approximately 13 billion US dollars spent via mobile shopping in 2012, mass marketing strategies and capabilities are swiftly changing. Every business, whether a big box corporation, internet conglomerate or mom-n-pop brick and mortar must embrace the mobile wallet or risk disappearing into the analog scrap heap.
From mobile coupons, automatic digital loyalty programs or mobile money exchanges these are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the huge variety of fiscal opportunities businesses can take advantage of.
The Savvy User
One advantage of owning a mobile device, particularly a smartphone, is that it has spawned more educated consumers. Gone are the days when businesses were able to divert a customer’s attention through fancy, misrepresented advertising easily pillaging their pockets. Now, the digital competition and available information is so fierce and so instantaneous a consumer can simply scan a barcode to determine product validity.
The digital ability that mobile users currently have has changed the marketing playing field. Now, businesses must not only offer competitive pricing but they must also offer mobile friendly websites and transparency to surpass domestic as well as international competition.
With the mobile market domination in full swing, and rising, the social media world runs parallel. This platform has also changed how humans interact offering a variety of pros and cons that seem to still be in flux.
Some of these include:
● Decreased loneliness
● Safety communication
● Educational connections
● Enhanced relationships (especially for parents and children)
● Increased criminal prosecution
● Useless news
● TMI – Too much info
● Social media addiction
● Lower work productivity
● Less kinetic (touch) interaction
As our world communication continues to ebb and flow through massive mobile use, societal cultures will also continue to change. It is a phenomenon that only past Sci-Fi representations tapped into and no one saw coming. Mobile market domination is a game changer that will never cease but only offer new ways to hopefully expand the human mind and spirit.