The invention of smartphone has dramatically changed the world. It has changed the way we think, the way we communicate, and the way we live. The Millennial generation is heavily relying on their cell phone and carrying it to everywhere. (Even to the bed and the bathroom!) This situation has gone to another level when the word “Phubbing” first appeared in 2012, describing the behavior that people constantly checking their cell phone and neglecting the people around them.
Photo by Angelica
According to Generational Insights, 40% of Millennials would feel anxious if they couldn’t constantly check their smartphones. Well, it seems to be a bad sign for the young generation but it also shows a great opportunity to many companies and brands-reaching to more audiences. As a marketing student and Millennial, I’ve decided to track my own mobile activity to see how I interact with the cell phone in my daily life.
The result was quite shocking. I spent almost 5.5 hours interacting with my cell phone everyday. How could this even possible? But then I started analyzing the result and eventually grouped those applications into five categories: Lifestyle, Discovering, Networking, Tools, and Entertainment.
I’m a runner and I enjoy using Nike+ running App to keep track of my work out journey. This App not only shows how far I run but also monitors how I run. For example, it tracks the shoes I run with, the weather condition, and my mood in every single running section. Nike+ running App also has a great feature called “Challenges”, which encourages people to accomplish more goals by running more. In addition, the interface is simple and the user experience was compelling. You won’t see any advertisement or promotion in this app but the app itself has already spoken for the brand.
As an international student who is new to the city, I realized that these discovering apps play an essential role in my daily life. I usually use Yelp to search nearby restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops or even convenient stores. Also, I would use Yelp to discover new places to hang out with friends. Yelp will list all of the results by distance with additional information such as category, reviews, address and price range. Yelp also integrated with Open-Table and GOOGLE Maps app so that you can easily make a reservation and find help with navigation the same time.
What I didn’t like about Yelp was that it started putting advertisement on the result list just recently. I didn’t found those advertisements effective nor relevant at all. For example, I searched “Coffee Reggio” when I was around NYU campus. Yelp camp up with an Ad shows “Domino’s pizza” which is totally irrelevant, not mention that the “Domino’s pizza” store was 8 miles away from NYU campus. In spite of those ineffective and irrelevant ads, I still love this App in general.
Another application I use in daily basis is EmbarkNYC, a subway schedule planning application. It shows the subway schedule, travel time of the journey, and current delays or diversions. This app is great because instead of waiting at the station, people can reschedule their plans in advance. Another great thing about EmbrakNYC is that it functions in offline mode!
Not until I had analyzed the result of my mobile activity did I realize how much I rely on those networking applications. Yes, A LOT! Actually, I don’t constantly checking my phone, but I love to use Facebook and Instagram to update my friends and family’s life. I also follow many brands and influencers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to gain more information about everything that I’m interested in. Compare to Facebook website, its mobile site doesn’t have that much of advertisements. But still, it’s too much. I nearly found any interesting ads on the site and would ignore them most of the time.
Moreover, I’m a heavy messaging user since it is the most cost effective way to get in touch with my friends and family. The sadly truth is that people in my generation seldom see their phone as a phone anymore. We don’t talk, we text.
These applications are my sanctuary. They are comforting, motivating, and inspiring me in different ways. I usually use them when I just need some time to zone out.
Thanks to those apps that make my life easier. My phone is like an all-in-one device that helps me organizes everything efficiently in my daily routine.
Stephanie Camp, a social media expertise, once mentioned that “When you lose your phone, you lose your life.” This sentence accurately described how much Millennial are emotionally attached to their phones. The invention of smartphone really has a huge impact to my life, an easier life.