CES 2018 Connected Living Guest Post

We Are So Busy with Our Connections, We’re Alone

CES 2018 is rapidly approaching. Andy Marken is a marketing and communications veteran in the field of consumer electronics for decades. As we lead up to the end of the year and CES 2018 in Las Vegas January 9-12th we will share Andy’s weekly column that takes a look at industry trends through his own personal lens. Find out more about Marken Communications at markencom.com 

marken-ghost-1 We Are So Busy with Our Connections, We’re Alone

By: Andy Marken, Marken Communications.

When my dad was alive, he was one of those never-connected people.

I offered to get him a computer for his home in the Midwest, pay for the connectivity and even get him some local training. He could get online and “visit the world,” and I could send him a note and we could “talk” when I was working late (two-hour time difference) and just wanted to tell him I was thinking of him.

His response was typical, straightforward, logical, “Got along without a computer before, why now?  You want to talk with me, pick up the damn phone!”

He talked with people, wasn’t constantly sneaking a look at the screen he had with him and focused on the person   

He didn’t understand the absolute time-saving joy of checking email the minute he got up to wade through 200 emails from Nigeria, award contests, conferences/events, business deals/special offers and others to find the 10 that were from business associates and friends.

He didn’t Tweet, text or post about where he was at and what great things he was doing. Nor did he throw up selfies.

When he was working, he was working and got stuff done.  When he wasn’t, he was spending time with folks or just doing nothing.

He didn’t know the thrill of FOMO (fear of missing out), the stress of knowing someone, somewhere might need something done right away and only he could make things right.

According to Nielsen, adults spend an average of five and one-half hours a week on social media, while kids easily double that time.

The American Psychological Association (APA) reported that 43 percent of us (probably low) constantly check our social media accounts, email, texts.

All of that requires that you are constantly being connected, busy doing really important things that causes stress, which only adds to the volume of crap you have to do at the office, at school or at home.

marken-ghost-2 We Are So Busy with Our Connections, We’re Alone

Anxious Times – While you might tell yourself all of your social media time is relaxing, psychologists find that it creates more stress about what’s going on when you’re not there and to the growing pile of work you leave undone.

There are a lot of people who think all that connectivity and activity is a good thing.

Back a few years ago, Facebook’s Zuck announced Internet.org with a bunch of infrastructure firms.  The goal was simple — connect the remaining two-thirds of the human race, who currently don’t have the Internet, to the Internet.

Then there were the peddlers at MWC (Mobile Wireless Congress) in Barcelona who know how impatient you are for valuable information.  To serve up stuff even faster, infrastructure people are busy testing 5G connectivity or lightning-fast wireless capabilities.

The move is supported by all of the smartphone manufacturers, chipmakers, network operators, and government regulators.

There are a lot of people who think all that connectivity and activity is a good thing.

Back a few years ago, Facebook’s Zuck announced Internet.org with a bunch of infrastructure firms.  The goal was simple — connect the remaining two-thirds of the human race, who currently don’t have the Internet, to the Internet.

Then there were the peddlers at MWC (Mobile Wireless Congress) in Barcelona who know how impatient you are for valuable information.  To serve up stuff even faster, infrastructure people are busy testing 5G connectivity or lightning-fast wireless capabilities.

The move is supported by all of the smartphone manufacturers, chipmakers, network operators, and government regulators.

ghost4 We Are So Busy with Our Connections, We’re Alone

Overworked – So you say there’s no time to catch up on all of the emails people send requesting stuff and the work the boss drops into your inbox? There might be a reason.

YouTube recently announced that viewers consume more than 1B hours of content…every day.

That’s music to Google’s — and Facebook’s — ears because they can sell ads around all of that important entertainment/”news.”

While people in developing countries are limited to having a phone and maybe a TV, economically advanced countries enjoy the full gamut of communications and entertainment.

By 2020, Cisco has projected that all of the IP traffic from those connected devices will reach 2.3ZB or 194EB per month.

Of course, not all of that data is business related.  In fact, the company estimates that by 2020, 82 percent of consumer traffic will be video.

That’s a lot of video!

Cisco estimates it would take you five million years to watch all of the video that will cross global IP networks each month by 2021.

All of that traffic worries the foundation of global home entertainment – pay, broadcast TV – because they’re being squeezed by social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat on the one side and premium subscription services like Netflix, Amazon and other global streaming services.

The Internet economics are strangling the cable TV business model while the new screens are hampering TV set sales.

The U.S. RECS (Residential Energy Consumption Survey) recently reported that 2.6 percent of homes had no TV at all (earlier surveys were steady at 1.2 percent); and homes with two or more sets dropped from 44 to 39 percent.

At the same time, more subscribers will be signing up for OTT (over-the-top) services, which is attracting new audiences across devices and dayparts.

But according to Nielsen, it doesn’t mean the immediate demise of broadcast TV; just that content will streamed during mornings, afternoons, early evenings.

In addition to the connected person, we can’t forget the connected home and car; which are both projected to grow in a huge way.

According to the recent Phenomena global internet report, the average North American household now has over seven active devices in use each day, with 6 per cent of households having more than 15 active devices.

And, they plan to buy more this year.

But the more our technology becomes interconnected, the more likely that the stuff will stop working; and for me, that means I need to reach out to our friendly connectivity person who recently moved to Colorado and hope he can figure it out…remotely.

Before I contact him, I’ll:

         Ignore the problem and hope it goes away

         Reboot everything that’s even remotely related, hoping it will go away

         Marginalize and work around the problem, hoping it will go away

         Figure it’s time to move the stuff to the back bedroom with the rest of the dead gear and upgrade

And it happens at the office also because remember, we’re connected 24×7, which is why the line between work and home has blurred.

 

Not that the expansion helps people get more real work done; because a lot of time is still consumed by social media…posting, reading, shooting, sending, viewing.

That is a major contributor for the APA’s report that found nearly half of millennials worry about its affect on their physical and mental health.  

n their study, every generation said they felt disconnected from their family because of technology, even when they were physically together.

Technology-related stress increases as we spend more time with technology and actually accomplish less.

Maybe dad had the right idea.

I don’t know; but I’d sure like to chat with him again.

ghost9 We Are So Busy with Our Connections, We’re Alone