Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Jan 1 2014 15:01:30

Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation

By: Ina Steiner

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A friend was telling me about her two cousins' teenage daughters who were discussing an upcoming family cruise. The girls were stressing about being without a connection - how would they survive a week without texting and all the other ways they engage with their mobile phones?

It was difficult for my 40-something-year-old friend to sympathize, even though she herself can't get through the day without texting, since she'd never had the amenities her young relations were given by their parents.

The anecdote of teens desperate at the thought of being cutoff from their mobile devices is backed up by data. Research commissioned by Rogers Communications and conducted by Harris-Decima found that 28% of Canadians surveyed would be willing to skip their morning coffee in exchange for anytime, anywhere internet. And if expectations about what mobile apps will be able to do for us in the future come true, expect the dependence on devices to grow even greater.

Researchers found that respondents envision an increasingly virtual reality in the future, from connected closets to cars, virtual wallets and interactive TV. 39% expect apps to become their butler, to draw baths, cut the lawn, vacuum and even do their laundry.

Over a third of respondents believe communication through mobile apps will have replaced most of the daily physical interactions we have with each other. A quarter of respondents admitted to Tweeting or Facebooking someone while in the same room - and over half (52%) of Gen Y said they've done the same.

Respondents also believe apps will be able to choose which outfits their owners should wear and recommend what to eat for dinner - create a grocery list - and have items delivered to them. The report looked at some mobile shopping behavior as well - see tomorrow's EcommerceBytes Newsflash.

You know you're a part of Generation D - the device generation - if you've replaced your spiral bound Arrow Street Altas with Google Maps and if you buy (and or course sell) from your couch.

Let us know how long you could survive without mobile access and which applications you would miss the most.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation   Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Jan 1 17:04:28 2014

Just because technology can do (or soon will be able to) certain things doesn't mean we should do these things.

This country has a history of plunging head long into unchartered waters with little no thoughtful national discussions covering disclosure of all relevant facts ethics, consequences (both predictable and unpredictable), and so on.

Within the next two decades, computers with artificial intelligence will have more ability than the human brain.

Those who expect technology to be their slaves will find out the reverse will be true.

What we're forgetting is that technologies are tools, and we must not become slaves to technology unable to make simple or complex decisions without 'help.'

I don't want a chip deciding what I want to eat and wear. I don't want a chip deciding what film I'll be watching, where I'll be eating, or what I'll be eating.

Your friends' daughters should be forced watch ''Battlestar Galactica'' (the recent version) and discuss the pros and cons of the progression of unexamined and unfettered technological development especially in the area of artificial intelligence.

On a practical level, parents have a responsibility to monitor and restrict of necessary the use of their children's cell phones, video games, computers, tablets, etc.

We now have nearly two generations addicted to these devices which isolate each person inside a tech cocoon where face to face human contact isn't apparently seen as important.

The social and cultural ramifications of such a shift a social paradigms is frightening.

And every seller here only has to look at their inbox where we too often find hateful, vicious messages from buyers who wouldn't have the cojones to talk to us like this face to face but are emboldened to behave badly because of the distance their device provides.

Until internet access is available everywhere, I'll carry my tablet with Google maps and my atlas.

Calculators made actually learning multiplication tables irrelevant, and apparently we haven't looked back since.

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This user has validated their user name. by: ebayisajoke
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Wed Jan 1 17:56:41 2014

What about the millions out there that no longer can afford $140 a month mobile data phone bills and are switching back to flip phones. How is eBay and PayPal going to win back those consumers to hand held data? Will eBay or PayPal come up with a program to offer a mobile data device to consumers for 50% cheaper then the major carriers? This remains to be seen but someone told me this was being developed.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Wed Jan 1 18:34:56 2014

This obviously is a philosophical decision as to what human behaviour will/will not evolve into.

Let's say Darwin works even in the digital environment. There probably will be a digital species co-existing with the non-digital (or hybrid thereof) species. What will be successful evolution-wise is hard to say.

Immediate observation is at restaurants there is no dinner conversation with the digerati - I'm surprised that the waitron does not have an app to text her/his patrons the accounting & take payment electronically (yet).

I just don't see how texting or looking at whatever app your device is trained to at the dinner table will promote the success of the species.
If there is no communication or shearing of ideas mano-a-mano that species is doomed.

And, given the rapacious nature of the self-appointed heads of state and industry, it will be so easy to take advantage of the digerati "sheeple". It must be true - I saw it on U-Tube.

I'm just not sure how this is going to play out. Text me (make that drop me a letter) in 10 years as to how things turn out.  

Perminate Link for Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation   Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Jan 1 18:59:56 2014

Question: How long could you survive without mobile access? Answer: Years (I grew up in the 1960s). I honestly only got a mobile phone so I could have my ringtone be the Pirates of the Caribbean theme. I rarely use the phone, and get more calls for Mindy (apparently the person who had the phone number before me) than I do for myself. The map app is cool when I'm trying to find some place I've never been before, but that's probably the only thing I use.  

Perminate Link for Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation   Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation

This user has validated their user name. by: NaruMessenger
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Wed Jan 1 20:00:23 2014

I would have serious data withdrawals.  

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by: NetWatch This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 1 20:25:12 2014

True anecdote from an English teacher. She took a group of her students to a college library to do some research. She was waiting outside the building for one reason or another, and suddenly a lot of the students came right back out shortly after having gone in. She asked them why they came back out. "The internet is down. We can't use the computers," one student told her. She looked at her students and told them all, "You guys march right back in there. There are thousands of BOOKS in there you can do your research with." True story.

Perminate Link for Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation   Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Wed Jan 1 20:38:04 2014

Tablet wise, Netflix is #1. It has become our second TV.

Don't know why I don't like mobile navigators that sit on a dashboard but LOVE the map feature on my mobile phone. It is the number one app I use.  

Traffic stalled up ahead. Whip out the mobile map app & sometimes we can just go cruising away from the traffic mess taking the ''scenic'' route.  Doesn't always work but it does often enough to be worth a look.

I think I could do a flip phone if I just had a mobile map about the size of a ipad mini.


Then again, maybe not.  Recently had to use a flip phone for some contract work. UGH. Texting is hard on a flip once you've gotten used to a smart phone.  Not to mention that I can tap the screen or scroll with my finger til the cows come home - nothing happens until my brain kicks in.  


Ming & the others have very valid points on the societal factors. Face to face communication & problem solving has suffered.  

The latest trend of virtual crowds beating up on individuals - whether political correctness or just plain opinion is involved is scary. The old definition of ''being judgmental'' has nothing on current shaming practices. People are losing the ability to disagree with one another in a constructive manner.  

Perminate Link for Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation   Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 2 01:59:03 2014

WIFI is powered by electromagnetic radiation. According to NASA it is the same radiation as XRAYS and Gamma rayS, etc, just not as powerful. We could be nuking  ourselves slowly and lethally with all our nifty WIFI devices. The folks in La Quinta California Middle School, know all about electromagnetic radiation exposure. There are dozens of cancer victims, some of them children and two dozen or more dead. State engineers were deemed the to have dropped the ball. Check Prevention Magazine they have a couple of articles on the disaster. And just in case you didn't already know, the NIH (National Institutes of Health), states electromagnetic radiation exposure is a known toxic substance and has a latency period up to 25 years after the exposure.  

Perminate Link for Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation   Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Jan 2 08:49:42 2014

I would much rather have my nose in a book than on a cell phone. I never get what these people have to talk and text about all the time. I must live a really boring life! But then I am 58 and grew up reading real books so the English teacher that Newtwatch mentioned would have loved me :)  My son told me after reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell that I was an outlier when it came to reading books. Most Americans average reading one books a year, while I read several hundred and also keep up with a wide variety of magazines.

If not for the fact that we make part of our living on line and I also do a lot of shopping on line at this point due to health problem, I could certainly get along without the internet if needed. I have at least 1000 books stashed in my home to read, just in case.;)

Perminate Link for Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation   Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 2 09:48:38 2014

I could do fine without a mobile device.  Do Not Text.  
Internet is needed to make some money that is enough technology for me.
All the apps may come in handy at times. However, I want to be in control of ''me'', Not some app, NOT some a hole politician that ''KNOWS'' what is best for me. I Like my privacy and decision making.
ebay was taking too much control and knew what was ''best'' for me - So, they do not get a dime in any way shape or form from me.

Perminate Link for Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation   Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 2 13:43:24 2014

Big Brother really IS watching us.  

IF we think we KNOW what data the NSA and others hold on us---well I have a nice Bridge for you!!!!!

Go back and READ--in actual page form--the older Sci-Fi from Asimov and Heinlein and others and SEE what they were saying about this DECADES ago.  IF you spent your formative years with this stuff you should have a very HEALTHY paranoia about WHO and WHAT is watching you and every little thing you do.  All day every day.  

Altho I may finally have succumed to a smart phone --and I do use the Maps feature--but ALL of our cars  and our bike HAVE maps stashed!!!!---I would not use--say---the iPhone with the fingerprint scanner---which BTW turns out to not even be YOURS because it is considered automatically the LEGAL SYSTEM ENTRY POINT into what you THOUGHT was YOUR business--just BECAUSE you used THAT method to UNLOCK your phone.  YOUR phone!  

It is both wonderful and terrible.    

Perminate Link for Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation   Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation

by: Xander This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 3 20:18:56 2014

Just another sign we are getting older. With each so called technical advancement of electronics and devices, there is always a price to pay. In this case, getting too accustomed to your smart phone can leave addicted users feeling lost without them.

I think this is just the tip of the iceberg when considering the effects of smart phones.

Perminate Link for Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation   Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation

by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 5 09:21:46 2014

Just watch 'Wall-E' to see where we are heading!

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 6 02:27:21 2014

The thing I dislike most about social media tribalism is it's like living in the small dump of a town I grew up in - everyone in your business and no privacy.  

Perminate Link for Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation   Life Without Mobile Access for the Device Generation

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Jan 6 20:25:00 2014

It's crazy how so many people can't seem to deal with "alone time" any more. Why do people have to be in constant communication? They can't seem to handle even a 15-minute subway trip without having to yack on their phones. The whole idea of not being able to make any decisions without the input of others or the influence of computer-calculated input, is rather frightening. Of course, just looking at the politicians who get elected is proof positive that people are losing all sense of being able to make reasonable, common-sense decisions without the influence or control of others. Being so dependent on others (or worse, the government) is a scary thought. I'd rather be a people than a sheeple.



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