A mugger accosts you in the street ranting, ‘YOUR CASH OR YOUR PHONE?’ what do you give up?
If you hand over your cash, there’s no recompense, you’ve lost your dosh.
If you hand over your phone, chances are it has a lock on it and you can cancel it and get a replacement.
There’s the rub; do you really want to wait even 24 hours for a new phone to rock up.
According to a Reuters and Oxford University 2017 study, nearly half of us now take our mobile phones to bed with us, to paw and browse ourselves to sleep with a lullaby of fake news, social media echo chambers and some honest-to-goodness, straight-up news from accredited media sources.
Another piece of credible research, this time from Google Insights, reckons more than a quarter of us have a mobile-only life and that we all spend most time on our smartphones, nearly three hours, compared to two hours on our non-work computers.
Until recently, the mobile consumption mantra was Snack A Little, A Lot or SALAL for short, but the latest Reuters/ Oxford Uni insights suggest it’s more Snack A Lot, Erm, A Lot or SALAEL for short.
This year at the field-good music festival we know and love as Glastonbury it became the most shared mobile event of 2017 with 54 terabytes of data used across the five days of Levels revelry, according to scary mega 4G network EE.
For those of us without an interest in bytes-sized stats — 54 TB is the equivalent of a truculent teenager playing non-stop grime on his iPhone for 108 years or all the videos on YouTube from 2006 or 10.6 years of Facebook Live streaming.
Our relationship with our mobiles is so intensely intimate that we would rather give up coffee, sex and TV than our smartphones, according to a study by Aruba Networks.
Despite our slavish devotion to the little screen, as consumers we’ve never been so powerful, calling the shots with brands hoping to reach us, somehow, anyhow.
The future of broadcasting is the curious egg in the batch. Netflix revenues have tripled in five years. Its annual content budget is more than the BBC’s entire income. People are more likely to watch Netflix on phones in India, South Korea and Japan, but televisions are more popular with U.S., South American and Australian customers. Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia prefer tablets, while some parts of Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe use desktop and laptop computers the most. So mobile isn’t everything to Netflix, at least not yet.
Mobile TV has often been pilloried, mostly by broadcasters, for cramming too many moving pixels into a tiny screen space. It’s a no-brainer for sure; IF the mobile screen is the start point and the end point. What if our mobile phones are evolving into the most personalised broadcast consumption tool ever?
In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the shipwrecked and soon-to-be-savage kiddywinkles use a conch shell as the communication tool; the lost boys are not allowed to opine without it. It becomes the most powerful symbol of civilisation in the novel.
Imagine the mobile as our conch in a media consumption context, we might be looking at stuff on a big screen but it’s being communicated, curated from our nearest and dearest device, the mobile phone.
It’s probably worth rephrasing the mugger’s ultimatum to,
‘YOUR CASH OR YOUR CIVILISING COMMUNICATION & BROADCAST CONTROL CENTRE?’
You could probably do a runner by the time he spouts that lot out.