We’re hearing all the time how no one really talks anymore because we’d rather look at our screens than each other. MIT professor Sherry Turkle says some kids are trying to do both and learning how to maintain eye contact with someone while texting someone else.
A recent study says more young people are even giving up a drivers license when they turn 16 because why should they drive to see friends when they can Facebook or Skype them? In 1983, 69% of 17 year olds had a drivers license but in 2008, it fell to 50%. Among 20-24 year olds, it went from 92% to 83% 25 years later.
Why’s this important? Because being connected doesn’t always provide us with the human connections we crave. In a USA Today piece, the authors of a new book called “The Face-toFace Book: Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace” say 75% of conversations (in the US) still happen face to face, and that the rise of social media has led to a reduction in mostly” email conversations”. They say we talk about what’s ‘cool’ online and about real life experiences when we’re physically together.
This doesn’t mean it has to be all or nothing! Put those online connections to work. Try a tweet up, Meetup or something really new.
Are you into food? The Meetup equivalent is grubwithus.com where you join groups and see what “social meals” are scheduled at your local restaurants. Culturekitchen.com features underprivileged women who are master chefs of a particular ethnic cuisine. You go into their home and learn to cook the real thing (from Ukranian to Thai).
Travel and activities
Find something new to do with others on Vayable and give “drinking whiskey on wheels” a try. It’s a way for locals to share their expertise (and get paid for it) which means your guide of the Farmers Market is someone who actually goes to it. Airbnb is similar but where people share their home (boat or castle) for a price.
Want to go international? Wander is an iPhone app that connects you with ‘pen pals’ by using Instagram (30 million users worldwide). You post a picture of the Caltrain in Palo Alto, California and your pen pal posts a picture of a train in Korea. After a week learning one person’s culture, you move on to a new friend.
More mobile platforms
If you’re open about your whereabouts, Arrived notifies friends when you’ve arrived at a meeting or a ball game. (No checkins required.) And Highlight notifies YOU if another Highlight user is within a football field or so of your location. The closer a person is, and the more interests, friends or history you have in common, the more likely you’ll be notified.
Remember, life is all about balance. We either use our time online to enrich our lives or it’s time spent just looking at a screen. I’ll be trying out grubwithus and Vayable soon and will write about my experiences. I appreciate all your comments!
Earlier this week, we kicked off special customer guest blog series with Andrew vonNagy, author of the blog Revolution Wi-Fi, and active on Twitter @revolutionwifi. Join us today as Andrew explores the next two major retail trends changing the Wi-Fi industry, and catch up with the first part if you missed it.
Trend 2: Empowering Sales Associates Given the increasingly connected and smart shopper, consumers now have more product information than in-store sales associates in many cases. Yet sales staff are key to providing a great consumer experience in-store. Retailers need to empower sales associates with the depth of product information that consumers have, and to provide additional tools that facilitate existing and new services offered by the retailer.
Historically, only a fraction of retail sales associates have been provided with mobile devices, and those devices have enabled only a limited set of capabilities such as stocking, inventory management and product availability. One reason for this is the high cost of ruggedized mobile devices for use in retail. A typical high-speed scanner PDA can cost well over $1,200 each. In order to provide every sales associate with more information to help consumers, retailers are adopting lower-cost, feature-rich, smartmobile devices that provide more robust capabilities than specialized scanners. Mobile platforms built by Apple, Android, and third-party manufacturers are enabling this shift, along with a retail IT focus on enabling business processes in a more flexible, consistent, and re-usable fashion.
Sixteen teams in different locations participated in this year’s NBA Development League Draft using Cisco WebEx as their connection to players and coaches to see and be seen! From California to Texas, to Nevada to Maine, everyone was connected either by computer or mobile device to experience the excitement of the draft.
The draft was held on November 3, 2011. It was a two hour event with eight rounds and a total of 128 picks. Participants joined WebEx from their homes, office and a few were at draft parties in restaurants. Those with webcams were able to share their reactions while others could watch from their computer or mobile phones – even iPads!