Going Mobile – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

obmolap    March 28, 2013

Not so many years ago my daily work routine consisted of turning on my computer, doing some project work, checking email, making calls, getting out into the world and networking the old fashioned way. Face to face.

Mobile-multitaskingFast forward to present day and my work day starts the minute I wake up.  A quick glance at the calendar and email on the smartphone by my nightstand (because I haven’t had a land line in well over five years) tells me just how the day is going to go. By the time I’ve fed and dressed my kids and sent them on their way, I’ve texted, Tweeted, emailed and very possibly even spoken to a handful of clients and colleagues. The wheels are in motion for another productive day. This is “The Good”. The versatility of mobile devices has given us the ability to take work or virtually anything on the go. Making more time for family, community and other commitments. Kinda.

“The Bad” – Work is with me 24/7. Put the phone away you say? Not quite that easy and quite frankly clients have come to expect a much more timely response given our resources. Work is there when I’m at lunch, when I’m volunteering at my kids school, when I’m grocery shopping.

This brings me to “The Ugly” and this whole concept of more time. Do I really have more time? Or am I just the jerk walking down the street with my eyes glued to my phone not watching where I’m going or at the school field trip, excusing myself from parental duties because “I have to take this call.”  I have admittedly been both of these people.

What Does the Future Hold?
Looking forward and it seems not much will change. In fact, there will be a lot more of us making the “most” of our time on the go. According to Edelman Digital, we’ve just scratched the surface of social media on mobile technology.


Compilation of eMarketer data from the previous six months helps to tell the story – visually. While the number of US social network users will increase by 8% in 2013, US smartphone users will increase by 36%, and mobile social users will grow by an astounding 43%. Get your apps ready. Growth is in mobile social.

Slide04A September 2012 Insit survey of 6,000 consumers in 19 markets found that 51% of internet users have a smartphone. These smartphone users are heavy users of social media. According to Google, 61% of smartphone users already access social on their mobile. These people aren’t just using mobile social a little. According to Nielsen,  nearly one-third (30%) of all time spent on mobile devices is spent on social networks, compared with 20% of all time spent on PCs. (Nielsen, July 2012).

Social media platforms are quickly adjusting. Facebook bought Instagram for its mobile community as much as its feature set. On the phone, the visual experience is even more pronounced than on a PC, where people, thumb, scroll, like through their experience. This is why Zuckerberg has directed that all new Facebook features should be designed for mobile first.

Social media is very obviously here to stay and if you haven’t yet embraced the mobile movement, the time is now. A few tips to ease the way…

Lessons for Others:
1. Find the right mobile device for you. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of quality time together. My husband loves his Android. I on the other hand find it complicated and difficult to navigate. Take a test drive at your local dealer before making a commitment to your next mobile device. Most of the sales folks have a preference and are eager to share their tech savvy (and opinion) with a potential customer.

2. Be a responsible mobile user. It should go without saying but, when you get behind the wheel and put your phone out of reach. Seriously, don’t be a dummy.

3. Don’t let social media make you socially awkward. Just because you can post a picture of your breakfast to share with 250 of your closest friends, doesn’t mean you should forget to physically see at least one or two of those friends and have a real live conversation. Make time for the important things, your phone will still be there when you’re done.

Web Resources:
SlideShare – Edelman Digital

JWT Intelligence


Submitted by: Vicky Ngeth, SMBP Student University of Waterloo.
To contact the author of this entry please email vngeth@gmail.com

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.