Today I found myself sitting in Biology, playing a game called water on my Ipod. I know that my biology test is next week. I know I should be listening to a discussion on stimulating beverages. Yet, I couldn’t seem to pull myself away. Something about the thrill of the puzzle was so much more interesting than talking about coffee.
Yes, I eventually put it down and did what I was supposed to, in case you were wondering. The situation got me thinking- how many students are messing around when they’re supposed to me taking notes? In a given hour how many rounds of Angry Birds are beat? How many slices of fruit cut?
As a nation, we love to be entertained. A few years ago I read a book called “Entertaining Ourselves to Death” which discussed how attached we are to media. There is more interaction in the world now than ever before. When things get “boring” (college…lectures…) then we automatically assume we need to be engaged in something else.
Less than 10 years ago, a phenomenal idea called texting started to gain momentum. When people realized that they could send short messages to one another that got a point across without a phone call, they were blown away. I wasn’t texting 10 years ago, but I can make a reasonable assumption that at first texting was used….well, to be useful.
“Hey, meet me at Wal-Mart in 10 minutes”
“Could you fax me that paper?”
“I totaled the car.”
By the time I got around to texting, it was replacing talking on the phone. What once was a ten minute conversation took 4 hours in a series of short messages. Without face-to-face contact, situations got (and get) distorted and sometimes ugly. In a phone call, you know exactly who’s listening to you but with texting anybody could be reading your messages. As it points out in the first article, texting is turning adults into teenagers. It creates a game of instant gratification. When we don’t instantly receive a reply, we assume that something is wrong. It creates an interesting dynamic between those 18-30 year olds who are dating or newly married.
My second article posted above is from 2008. No, I’m not behind on the times, I just wanted to compare where apps were at a few years ago with now. I find it slightly humorous that the article said that the Apple App Store was going to be bad for Facebook. It turns out just the opposite is true. In the past four years, they have thrived on one another. It’s quite the symbiotic relationship.
Where do you think mobile apps are heading? I didn’t even touch QR codes or the like in this post, because I believe they will fade in the next two years. What’s the next big thing when it comes to mobile?