Mobile Devices - A Matter of Balance, Style

"They are mature, actually. You just have to get to know them better." - Stu Price (Ed Holmes), The Hangover (2009), Warner Bros

Just got back from a family holiday and no one even knew we were gone.

The phone was always on...just in case.

Handled the emails first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon.

It's surprising how many things you can handle/resolve in an hour when there's no one to interrupt you!

Also did a Skype conference call that was scheduled ...it's so cool to be in a meeting in the Pacific Basin and not have to fly there!

The only time we were really unavailable was while flying (too cheap to pay for the in-air Wi-Fi) and when we were scuba diving.

Maybe sometime?

Nope, never...diving really is our time!

The wife was happy she could monitor our stock portfolio while we were away.

And the kids had their computers, tablets, smartphones, game systems...so they were good to go!

Everyone has their mobile devices today to be available because...

People in all generation categories (male and female) are never out-of-reach, out-of-touch -- mobile phones, laptops, MP3 players and increasingly, eReaders/tablets.

Device Mania - iGeners may feel the most comfortable, the most natural being connected all the time, but men/women of all ages and around the globe choose and use the devices that meet their wants/needs. Above is the percentage of American adults in each generation that own each device. Source - Pew Research

Traffic across the devices is growing...dramatically!

Of course, when it comes to putting someone in charge of your device(s), remember what Stu Price said, "Don't let Alan drive, because there's something wrong with him."

Devices, Traffic - Laptops dominate the traffic growth through 2015, but tablets are expected to drive 3.5 percent of the traffic by2015. Other portable devices are forecast to account for 0.7 percent of all mobile data traffic. Source - Cisco Visual Networking Index

The data traffic growth rate varies by region, but the devices are having a heck of an impact on our global communications infrastructure.

The CAGR (compound annual growth rate) is expected to grow 92 percent between 2010-2015.

Traffic Drivers

Mobile devices generate a lot more data traffic compared to the POMP (plain old mobile phone):

- Smartphone, 24X more traffic

- Handheld game system, 60X the traffic

- Tablet, 122X more traffic

- Laptop, 515X the traffic

Young adults are the most mobile, only having a laptop (no desktop) and using their phones for almost everything - iNet, email, music, TV, games and shooting video that's cleaned up and edited with products like muvee before they're sent somewhere.

For working stiffs like us, the good news about mobile technology is you can be anywhere and still work.

The bad news is anywhere you are, you are at work.

Some people have learned how to handle it...others haven't.

Lonely, Lost -A growing number of people - male and female - tend to feel disconnected from almost everything when their mobile devices are off, if they are taken away or if they are not immediately close at hand. Many say they can take it or leave it but...they prefer to take it. Source - Burst Media

There's a compelling, almost irresistible siren song from the devices people carry and the information they can deliver.

Then too, there's the pressure of living in a world where many feel 'immediately' really means immediately.

That's probably why Alan Garner said, "Don't touch it. Don't even look at it. Don't look at me."

Love it or hate it, you have to figure out how to survive with mobile technology and make it work for you.

Because promotions often seem scarce, many worry someone going to be more connected and outclimb them on the rickety corporate ladder.

Even if your career is solid or you're self-employed, there's an over-inflated feeling that some business need/opportunity must be handled...now!

Home Invasion

Pew Research Center came to the illuminating discovery that the home has invaded work and work has invaded the home.

There's no going back, so it's up to you to control it, manage it, use it...properly.

Smartphone User Growth

Smartphone Ramp - Smartphone user growth in numbers and growth percentage through 2015. The results show all individuals - regardless of age - who use a smartphone.

Source - eMarketer

It all started with the old BlackBerry.

Smartphones made it easier and you were able to rationalize it more easily because you soon were texting the kids at school and tracking family activities/events at work because you could.

In between...work!

That's increasingly why employees want to/demand to use their own smartphones, notebooks, tablets, other devices to connect with corporate e-mail, applications and data wherever they happen to be - at home, on the go, on vacation.

Not Phil Wenneck though, he looks at his devices and says, "It's the weekend, you don't exist to me."

Being plugged in or unplugged is a personal decision; but for a growing number of us, the mobile devices give us the flexibility we want to balance the work and our personal lives.

The key is that the routine needs to feel natural so you're not stressed-out but available on those business occasions when things need to be "handled."

If they aren't...let'em slide!

Today, being committed, connected, responsive is a business, family, personal responsibility few can ignore.

The Right Ones

Now that you're learning balance and how to put the devices/information to work to your advantage you begin to realize that not all mobile stuff is created equal.

Sure, if you're a real geek, an iPad can make you seem really exciting. For most though, it's like Shania Twain sang, "That don't impress me much."

According to a Retrevo Gadgetology study, an iPad - or tablet -- doesn't compare with you carrying a book around.

No, not a book on your tablet or a Kindle ... a real book!

Here's how the devices "attracted":

* Cool phone topped the list with 50% of guys under 35, gals rated it 36%

* Neat laptop impressed 46% of the guys, 38% of the women dug the laptop

Higher income people who make more than $200,000 a year rate things a little different:

* 71% go for cool phones

* 54% like people with iPads

* They go less for artistic types, people with tattoos, outdated phones.

If you're a guy, don't bother with your iPad, smartphone and/or laptop. Take a dog - better yet a puppy - ladies check you out every time!

Can't go out without some gadget(s)?

Retrevo found Bluetooth headsets and phone holsters don't give you a good first impression - male or female.

When Stu Price sees either one, he says, "I say we delete it right now."

At the office, however, your co-workers "rate" you based on your devices so accessorize for power.

People also draw conclusions about you based on your gadgets at your local coffee shop, bar, school, even the gym.

Yeah, your mobile things will help, but those are the second thing they see.

First are the right clothes, shoes, handbags, apparel.

Your gadgets are accessories.

They're part of your self-expression, social business advantage, so keep it in mind when you spread out in the classroom, in the office, on the beach.

Now you know how to stay in contact and dress for success.

If someone comes up to you and says it's all too much, just remember what Alan Garner said, "It's where I keep all my things. Get a lot of compliments on this. Plus it's not a purse, it's called a satchel."

Author:.

G. A. "Andy" Marken President Marken Communications, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Andy has worked in front of and behind the TV camera and radio mike. Unlike most PR people he listens to and understands the consumer’s perspective on the actual use of products. He has written more than 100 articles in the business and trade press. During this time he has also addressed industry issues and technologies not as corporate wishlists but how they can be used by normal people. He has been a marketing an...

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