As I’ve said before, consumers crave mobile. Everywhere you turn these days, you can see people consulting their mobile devices while shopping, eating, walking, waiting . . . even while sitting side-by- side with friends, each on his or her own phone. Is this devotion—obsession?—to smartphones and tablets simply a harmless sign of the times, or could it have larger, perhaps even unhealthy, social and cultural implications?
Earlier this year, Salzburg Global Seminar tracked the mobile activity of college students over a 24-hour period. Interestingly, this research revealed that many in this age group appeared to be actually tethered to their phones, literally unable in many cases to put them down.
Moreover, this attachment to mobile devices by those in their late teens and early twenties is not confined to a particular country or even hemisphere. Researchers found that the behaviors were universal; the study included more than 800 students from eight universities on three different continents and representing 52 nationalities.
Other key findings included: Continue reading