Are mobile devices making us more social?

Are social trends and the sales of mobile devices a clear indication of technology bringing us together rather than driving us apart? Could social media and mobile devices like a smartphone be paving a new way for how we connect and socialize especially, dare I say, for the older generation where the saying goes ‘it is often hard to teach an old dog new tricks’?

We asked ourselves are mobile devices making us more social?

Recent research has revealed some interesting findings and statistics.

  • In one study as seen in the New York Times researchers found that “rather than isolating people, technology made them more connected.”
  • Sales predictions for 2015 featured in TechCrunch estimate a total of 1.95 billion in mobile phones, moreover, a Nielsen data report revealed US adults spend an average of 34 hours per month using the internet on smartphones, compared to 27 hours on a PC as featured in Marketing Land. Mobile devices would seem to have the greater advantage of course because of their very nature of being portable.
  • According to a social web demographics blog post by Jeff Bullas 71% of user’s access social media from a mobile device. In the age bracket of 65+ 43% are using mobile based social media with the percentage growing to 60% between the ages of 56-60.

We are in the era of witnessing transformations happening daily among new users.  Technology, such as mobile devices are changing the way we communicate and connect by way of allowing us to be more social.

Take my 65 year-old mother who just last week grabbed her mobile device (her smartphone) to take a video of my daughter sporting a new dress for a tea party at daycare. The proud grandmother quickly snapped up a few quick pictures and video and promptly shared it on Facebook. Just three days ago I showed her how to use Google+ Hangouts on her mobile device so that she could continue to see her grandchildren through live chats for when she flies south in a couple of weeks. She was thrilled and quickly tested it out and has been playing with this new app ever since. My mother isn’t unique. She is like many who simply do not need a computer or laptop because whatever she needs can be easily accomplished through the use of her mobile device allowing her to be more connected and social everywhere she goes.

Let’s take a look at another example.  This past summer the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS proved how easy it was to support a cause through a mobile device and social media. Just about everyone who participated young and old used a mobile device to record their individual challenge and share it on social media. The incredible success of this challenge which started on July 29 2014 has raised more than $115 million in donations which is largely attributed to the ease and use of mobile devices and social sharing through social media.

Technology and social media have forever changed the way we communicate even amongst the older generation. The reality is the more you use it the more comfortable you become with it and the more empowered you are because of it.

Yes, mobile devices are about to outpace PCs and replaced the need of computers for some but for people like me and the work I do I absolutely still need my computer to do my job. For others like my mom and many others like her the advantages of technology and social media via her mobile devices have allowed her to be more social than ever with friends and family, follow brands, obtain coupons and discounts, make online purchases, research new products, solutions or services, participate in contests, make donations and keep up with the news. All this and more can be done through a personal mobile devices like a smart phone.

What does this mean if you are a business owner slow to the punch of technology or if you’re a social media skeptic? Well, you had better catch-up and have a mobile friendly website and get social. Start small with one social platform, learn a few basic tips on the etiquette of being social on social media and make it easy for your audience to connect with you. People are on the move and you need to be on the move with them by making your information easily and readily available to them through content marketing and social media strategies that’s available for all types of mobile devices.

Edited photo - Diana By: Diana Davies-Harju

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