Leaving the smartphone in your pocket is the new cool but how will this conscious renunciation determine the future? Or not?

who we are
By Artur Kuleschow

Think about holding up a smartphone at a concert as a way of putting an artificial distance between the observer and the observed, quite scary, no? Artists such as Adele, Alicia Keys, Jack White and Prince have all asked their audience politely to put their mobile phones in back in their pocket. Additionally, many studies warn that spending too much time on your phone can be causing stress and anxiety as well as injury by crossing the street without looking left right left-a basic routine we are taught from the age of 2, which smartphones have ironically made us forget. We have all done it. Of course we have, don’t pretend you haven’t. Just think of how many times you are following City Mapper or even the opposite, how many times you were stuck behind someone who is walking and looking at their phone. Irritating, isn’t it?

The German writer Andreas Reckwitz wrote the book ‘The Society of Singularities’ on smartphone asceticism. What fascinated me about his view is that he described singularity as something exclusive, which means nothing more than that a majority is excluded from an experience or a product, and a minority can therefore enjoy it more. Leading the forefront of this movement are actors, such as Christopher Walken, Sandra Bullock and Daniel Radcliffe. Producer Simon Cowell revealed that he hasn’t used his mobile phone for 10 months. While browsing the internet I have found many case studies praising the benefits of a mobile phone/social media free life. Is it just a trend or a shift in consumer behaviour?

One company is currently frontlining all headlines with their efforts to help people curb their mobile phone addictions. Apple is launching iOS 12 which includes a new App called Screen Time, generating weekly reports breaking down app usage, the number of notifications etc. Additionally, you can also set App limits to restrict yourself from using your mobile phone too much. A very good idea I think and especially needed looking at the current generation of children, sitting around a table and just staring at their screens. Parents, tech companies and policy makers should all work together to build a solution and improve this uncertain potential danger.

But what does this all mean for us, planning and managing global advertising campaigns online and especially offline? I hold the opinion that the shift to mobile will grow considerable in the next couple of years. With kids under the age of 9 spending more than 2 hours a day on screens will definitely have an impact on the advertising industry. Brands that manage to adapt to the movement and keep up with tech trends will see greater results. Just think of the instant purchasing power mobile advertising offers. Online targeting options becoming more smart and advance meaning you can reach more people with bespoke messages and most importantly, you can see results.

So what does this all mean for the future of mobile phones and mobile advertising? Looking at the time when I am with my friends or family we always try and leave the mobile phone in our pockets to enjoy each other’s company and create memorable experiences. However, spending time with your loved ones does not happen that often, meaning that I do spend a lot of time on my mobile phone. We have just become reliant and attached to our mobile phones and brands understood the power of mobile advertising. The future of mobile everything will be deeply personalised using artificial intelligence and become more convenient and we, the convenience seekers will not be able to resist.

I call us digital harvesters.