Are we a slave to the smartphone?

January 9th, 2017

Lots of us have seen this video of Simon Sinek outlining why millennials / Gen Y are addicted to their smartphones.


The story is in our Facebook feeds, on the news sites and being discussed with our peers and it’s super relevant to our post today:


The internet reaches almost 3.5 billion users.


So it’s no wonder that tech and everything that goes with it is taking over our lives and the way we spend our time.


Almost 4 hours of our day is spent looking at our smartphone (that doesn’t even count taking and making phone calls)!


With about 90% of that time spent within apps – online banking, socialising, dating, business, fitness tracking – it’s easy to see why a lot of people these days simply can’t go a day without their iPhone.


Gone are the days of waiting in a taxi rank for a yellow cab to pull up after a night on the town. Now, we only have to log into our Uber account and set a pickup location.


If we’re waiting for our pizza to cook, there’s no more dawdling (or dare we say – cleaning up the mess we’ve made), it’s a quick scroll on Instagram or Facebook to pass the time.


I was walking to Pilates the other day (how very Gen Y of me) and noticed an elderly woman sitting on a park bench. Not doing anything in particular but just sitting, enjoying the shade and occasionally watching a bird flutter from flower to flower.


On another bench, a young guy was doing much the same but instead of watching the world around him he was bent-necked, looking at his phone.



Apps on our smartphones are changing the way we act in public places:

  • Conveniently already built into your iOS, Find My Friends shows you where groups of family or friends are in a particular town by syncing with your Apple ID. You just need to stroll down a street and put on the Find Friends alert to see where your buddies are located.


  • Dating apps mean that we can choose our dates simply by their proximity to us (or by the comfort of your own couch). Yep, we’re not gonna go into detail about those because guaranteed you’re already well aware!


  • We’re continually revealing more about ourselves through social media posts – can you imagine someone just coming up to tell you what they ate for lunch in exquisite detail including a photo? It’s crazy to think that that’s a thing now.


How we get our information:

  • The way we digest news has completely changed. Before checking news sites we’ll often notice breaking stories via Facebook or Twitter – after all, if the people we’re connected with are following a news story, chances are we’ll be interested in it too. Even the news sites we’re visiting have changed from traditional news channels to the likes of the Huffpost app.


  • The world is generally a smaller place now – in that we can connect with people across the globe with a few buttons. Not to mention we’re seeing more from celebrities than ever: we celebrate Christmas with them in real time, experience their fears, sold their favourite products, envy their lifestyles.


Changing how we look at politics:

  • We’re just going to touch quickly on the whole Trump v Clinton debacle… but the engagement from the whole world – down to celebrities, business people and everyday mums and dads was astounding. 


The way we do business:

  • It’s so much easier to start a business with the use of social media. You can connect to people instantly who are more likely to engage with your brand. Nowadays, you can give your business a personality with a themed feed in Instagram, witty commentary and ads targeting your ideal audience.


  • Let’s not forget social media brand ‘ambassadors’, that is – accounts with a large following using your merchandise in ‘sponsored’ posts. Most of the time it’s at a fraction of price of traditional advertising – with much better results (Kylie Jenner, anyone?)


  • You can build your database and keep in touch with your customers with a platform like MailChimp.


  • You could also be using a startup venture like Collabosaurus  to connect you with like-minded professionals to share your expertise.


  • Apps like Gusto can help with payroll and Quickbooks for those pesky accounting needs.


  • Traveling for work? Tripit consolidates all your trip information to one place and gives you handy reminders when you have a flight coming up.


And after all that app using, manage your time with an app like RescueTime or OmniFocus – set goals and prioritise your work to get sh*t done.



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