Making it happen since 1988

Staying connected

By IMA on Jul 16, 2015

Staying connected is a complicated issue for many of us. Don’t get me wrong I love my iPhone as much as the next person and I’m as giddy as a kid at Christmas when my shiny new upgrade arrives. Spotify has revolutionised the way I listen to music and I dread to think how often I utter the phrase ‘Google it’. Seriously, what did we do before Google?

But I also hate the person who watches an entire gig through their phone – live in the moment people! Likewise, there’s something terribly sad about being with a group of friends and suddenly realising everyone is on their phones. It also happens to be one of the few things I argue about with my other half; he really does take phone addiction to a new level.

A study by mobileinsurance.com revealed the average person spends ninety minutes per day on their phone. Not surprising when you think about everything we use our phones for but scary when you realise that adds up to nearly four years of our lives spent on our phone. FOUR years!http://www.mobilestatistics.com/mobile-news/23-days-a-year-spent-on-your-phone.aspx

Having recently returned from a four-month trip across South America, I did consider not taking my phone, letting myself ‘unplug’ for a few months. I don’t know who I was kidding! Between watching movies on the never-ending buses, Trip Advisoring somewhere decent to eat and taking hundreds of photos, I don’t know what we would have done without our phones.

For me being away from friends and family for that long was pretty tough but was certainly made a lot easier with Facetime and Skype…when Wi-Fi was working of course. It also made it easier to keep a blog while away; feverishly jotting down all the intimate details of every destination before they faded, as such things tend to do.

My list of Facebook friends, as a result of all this, now has a much more international flavour. Without staying connected as we went we couldn’t have had a New Year’s Eve reunion in Rio with some of the wonderful folks we had met along the way. As with many things in life, it’s the people you’re with that make the experience special.

I wonder how different it would have been to travel the world thirty years ago. Apart from the odd postcard and snatched phone call home, armed with only a guidebook to, well, guide you, I imagine it was a more profound experience but the world is a wonderful place and I fully appreciate the many apps and websites that made it easier for me to see more of it.

I like to think I’m a social person and love to keep up with my friends. But, depending on what type of day it’s been, it can be exciting or a little intimidating to check your phone and see seven WhatsApps, two texts, a Facebook message and a Timehop for good measure. Funnily enough missed calls seem to be the rarest of these notifications. The marketer in me rejoices in this opportunity for near constant communication with consumers but as a human I fear for the day computers really do take over the world.

I guess the lesson here is to embrace the many forms of communication at our disposal but it’s important not to get too lost in an online world. A client problem might be easier solved on the phone than over email, a Facebook message here and there doesn’t constitute a friendship and the odd text to your mum is no match for a good chinwag. With everything that goes on in our crazy world today, we must remember to cherish our loved ones and, at the end of the day, the best form of communication, both personally and professionally, is probably still face to face.