Apparently, the more mobile devices you have, the higher your perceived value of media is. According to BCG’s recent study, Through the Mobile Looking Glass, when you get a second mobile device, there is a 41% increase in perceived media value, a 40% increase when you get a third, and a 30% increase when you get a fourth.
Which makes sense, if you’re spending your days juggling four mobile devices and consuming media on all of them. What could be more important than the information nuggets you’re eating all day long?
Hopefully a lot of things, considering that the nutritional value of all the information we’re consuming could be very low.
The Guardian’s Rolf Dobelli explains:
In the past few decades, the fortunate among us have recognised the hazards of living with an overabundance of food (obesity, diabetes) and have started to change our diets. But most of us do not yet understand that news is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don’t really concern our lives and don’t require thinking. That’s why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-coloured candies for the mind. Today, we have reached the same point in relation to information that we faced 20 years ago in regard to food. We are beginning to recognise how toxic news can be.
Dobelli goes on to provide illustrative examples of the following:
Dobelli wants us to go without news. To be clear, he’s not arguing against ALL journalism. He supports investigative journalism, long-form, and books, but for the last four years has entirely removed the consumption of other (shorter) news from his diet. He’s since experienced: “less disruption, less anxiety, deeper thinking, more time, and more insights.”
FJP: Firstly, journalists simply can’t afford that kind of lifestyle and anyone active on a social network can’t avoid it. And great, illuminating, informative, well-reported, well-presented journalism is out there. But if we set aside the details of his argument (over which we could debate at length), Dobelli’s larger point (that our news consumption habits aren’t very healthy), coupled with the fact that we of the mobile generations perceive the value of media so highly, raises the most important question of all for people living in 2013: How can we construct healthy, anxiety-free, informative, enjoyable news diets that help us live better lives and understand the world better? News literacy. Just like we ought to do with food, practice consuming with balance and intention.—Jihii
The decadence and corruption associated with [Rightel’s] use outweighs its benefits. It will cause new deviances in our society, which is unfortunately already plagued with deviances.
Grand Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi in a fatwa against Rightel, a 3G mobile operator that’s bringing video calls to Iran. AL Monitor, Fatwa Issued Against 3G Internet Operator in Iran.
FJP: A second Ayatollah says the video calls “jeopardize the public chastity”.
A petition signed by some residents in the city of Qom says that services like Rightel are a part of “enemy culture” and “facilitate access to sin and decadence”.
STUDY: More people than ever use apps!
STUDY: Smartphone users rely on GPS and map functions so they won’t get lost.
STUDY: Small but growing number of people use their tablets as coasters for cold drinks.
STUDY: Men consume a whole lot of porn.
STUDY: More people than ever use emoticons in text messages.
STUDY: Consumers compare prices online while shopping at big box retail stores.
STUDY: Majority of Americans can’t find Mali on a map.
STUDY: Tech blogs and newspapers always happy to publish results of inane studies.
The children and teenagers huddled over their devices at McDonald’s Corp. restaurants and Starbucks Corp. coffee shops across the country underscore the persistence of the Internet gap in education. McDonald’s has 12,000 Wi-Fi-equipped locations in the U.S., and Starbucks has another 7,000. Together, that is more than the roughly 15,000 Wi-Fi-enabled public libraries in the country.
Anton Troianovsky, Wall Street Journal. The Web-Deprived Study at McDonald’s.
Besides being interesting for its numbers, the article above is another good one on the digital divide — the term for the inequality between groups based on their access to the internet and technology.
In the US, Alabama and other nearby states are regularly noted for their low broadband access.
But some are not as concerned as others. See this article from Salon, which postulates that mobile phones may help fix the problem in America’s rural areas:
As far as the “digital divide” is concerned, the smartphone is something of a unique product in the history of personal technology. It simultaneously represents the cutting edge of the technology business — the most computing power packed in the smallest box — and it is the obvious choice for members of any economic class to adopt as the most ounce-for-ounce efficient and economic answer to how to get connected in an era where connectivity is — after food, water and shelter — an almost universal top priority.