Remember the days when you put down your pen and paper, turned off the TV and enjoyed what you called "computer time"? Listening to that dial up internet static was something I looked forward to all day because it meant I got to explore and "play" on the computer. I'm sure you remember the AOL running man icon right? Classic.
Fast forward to 2013 and you'll find that there is no such thing as "computer time" anymore, because computer time is ALL the time. Your phone is not just a phone anymore, its become your life - its your email, your calendar, your notebook and your entertainment. Everything you need in one small portable device and the world at your fingertips.
We are constantly connected and usually in several different ways. Have you ever found yourself walking through a store, shopping for groceries while talking to your mom on the phone while browsing your phone's calendar to let her know if you are free for dinner tomorrow night? I have.
According to Yahoo's Tony Marlow in his presentation on Consumer Behavior & Consumption Across Media: The Digital State of Play, our brains are re-wiring themselves in order to help us navigate our digital lives, which is why younger people are significantly better at multi-tasking. This explains why my grandmother can't seem to figure out what a "tweet" is or how to "tag" someone on Facebook. She wasn't wired for this kind of activity.
I won't hesitate to admit I would be LOST without my phone and I get anxious when I don't have it right next to me. Makes me wonder how we ever functioned before cell phones and the internet. And I certainly don't know how we ever survived without iPhone's handy navigation!
Talia Short is Chief Wrangler at April Bell Research Group, a boutique, full-service marketing research firm, committed to delivering fresh insights you can act on! Learn more at aprilbellresearch.com.