In the famous words of the late Notorious B.I.G, I can’t help but wonder if the invention of the Mobile phone has hypnotized me. It’s as if I can’t move, live or breathe without it. Sad? Yes, I know. Although sad, the mobile phone has taken over and became the norm, beating out the traditional and reliable land line/home phone and more than likely on the tail of the beloved big screen computer.
This week we will focus on the mobile phone and the influences its existence has had on our lives. Though we have advanced with the technological changes in this generation, I honestly believe that one day humans will ultimately need to play catch up. During our reading this week it became strikingly obvious that more businesses are now trying to keep up with the fast growing mobile craze. In one particular article, “AND THE SURVEY SAYS… “Mobile First” Is A Dumb Strategy”, Henry Blodgett explains how more companies are now redesigning their organizations and business to focus more on a Mobile First strategy. If you are unaware of this steadily growing trend, pay attention! Let’s take a look at Blodgett’s explanation of the Mobile First, Mobile Only and Mobile too strategies:
- Mobile Only: Designing or redesigning your company to fit the needs of smartphones,
- Mobile First: Design everything for smartphones first and big screens as an afterthought.
- Mobile Too: Focusing on designing everything for smartphones and big screens.
With the growing pace of the mobile phone its easy to understand why businesses would be eager to use the mobile first strategy, in their minds people are now using their mobiles phone more than ever before. Although, this may be true, statistics given by Business Insider shows that over 80% of their audience use laptops/computer regularly, followed by smartphones which raked in just under 80%. Too close for comfort? I think not.
With so many emerging media showing up, I think it’s disheartening that so many businesses are forgetting the roots of the o-so-glorious Smartphone, the computer. Furthermore, I believe that by businesses implementing a mobile first strategy they will create a new age digital divide among their audience. Does this sound crazy? Maybe… maybe not.
As I work diligently through this course, I’m constantly enlightened by my fellow classmates’ experiences and lifestyles. As this week approached, I found that not all my classmates indulge in Smartphones and its wonderful capabilities. Interesting enough, it was mind blowing to me to because there are so many businesses that are completely engulfing themselves into designing their websites around mobile device. So I started to think, “what about the very few people who remain loyal to computers/laptops,” also “how frustrating can it be to navigate a site that is really meant for a Smartphone?” While these questions make sense to me, those who see the beauty in media evolution may think otherwise.
Although most business are more concerned with those who use big screens on a routinely basis, there are some websites who benefit greatly from implementing mobile applications. One of my favorite apps that uses the mobile first strategy is Instagram (IG). With the sharing of memorable moments, Instagram has become one of the top grossing mobile applications (besides Facebook) in the emerging media world. This brings me to my next point, with the emerging media coming to the forefront; does this take the social out of… social media?
“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language,” A famous quote by Walt Disney simplifies what creators of Instagram were thinking from the first inception of IG. This new way of sharing is becoming the new norm and completely taking over. Is social media and SMS becoming the new language of the people? The new way of communicating is through social media sites and SMS leaving the traditional land line phones drifting in the wind. It has become a chore to actually have phone conversations!
Are these different outlets showcasing a new era of communicating? I think so. Last night I had the opportunity to celebrate my co-workers birthday at a new hot spot here in Atlanta, Shout. Usually in a public setting such as a birthday party you communicate and engage with the people around you, which is the very reason why we throw these big extravaganzas. As I looked around, I became bothered by the amount of time everyone stood around and focused on their mobile devices. Group pictures turned into “selfies” and normal conversations became Facebook status updates. I thought about my role in this type of disturbance, did I also become a part of the problem?
I know you are probably wondering why I would go as far to observe this type of behavior as disturbing, I mean it’s not as if the ring of a mobile phone could disturb twenty people in a club with blaring hip-hop music. What I found to be disturbing is the interruption of healthy dialogue among friends and colleagues.
Along with the lack of social etiquette, mobile devices are also becoming a disturbance within public settings. In an article given to us by Dr. P, studies shows that almost two thirds of the respondents in a EURESCOM p903 project agreed with the statement that “The mobile telephone disturbs other people.” This is a common complaint that I always here from those who are not heavily involved with their mobile devices. I get it; some boundaries are being crossed with the mobile devices, conversations are no longer private and being recorded by complete strangers is becoming the norm.
Although I love my mobile device I honestly love working and looking at most websites on my laptop— sometimes I believe that I have became a slave to my Samsung S5. As emerging media starts to evolve, it becomes more convenient to lean on your mobile device for news updates and catching up with friends; but I honestly hope that all business will keep in mind how much the consumers love their “big screens.”
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