In our journalism class, we defined content as information: everything from Page One to Letters to the Editor to the Classifieds to the Daily Horoscope. Content doesn’t imply quality just substance: TMZ, BBC, Howard Stern, NPR, ebaumsworld.com, state.gov tv shows, radio programs and websites vary quality but again all content.
In class we discussed that more people are getting their content by their cell phones. I went to my local Verizon store to find out why there’s an increase in the use of mobile phones for obtaining content. Because Verizon has a policy that its representatives aren’t supposed to talk about technology products to reporters, we’ll call the employee I spoke with– Verizon Girl.
Verizon Girl attributes the increase in sales to two main reasons: changes in culture and more applications offered on civilian mobile phones.
Changes in Culture-
Verizon Girl says we have a different culture today. There are no more smoke-signals and the days of dial-up are gone. People expect to reach you when they call. If you don’t answer they’ll send a text or an e-mail. We are an instant society. If there’s information we need to know, we need to know it now. Therefore, we must have a piece of technology that satisfies this hyper-informative need. Verizon Girl says the mobile fulfills this goal.
“Blackberries and similar mobile devices have been around for decades,” says Verizon Girl. “The major difference is that this technology is available to the public at an affordable price.”
According to Verizon Girl, we’ve answered the question of what will be the ultimate device. What will have the camera, the phone, the computer, the tv, and the internet incorporated into one device…the answer is the mobile phone. Essentially, you’re walking around with an office that is the size of your palm. We’re past the point that everybody has a cell phone. We’re now asking how many functions your cell can perform. Talking to people on the phone has become a secondary purpose.
I have to agree with Verizon Girl that the all-inclusive mobile makes things less complicated. The other day I had to interview a professor in D.C. for one of my classes. My cell was responsible for waking me up in the morning, displaying the e-mail confirming the appointment time, calling the professor to see if I had the right address, browsing the internet to do research on the professor and finally using a map application to navigate myself to the professor’s office. If I had an iPhone, I would have used it to record the interview.
Thoughts for the Future-
With all the advances the mobile can perform, I asked Verizon Girl where this technology is going. We use our phones to program our televisions at home and record our favorite programs. I asked her if it’s only a matter of time before they open the garage door, turn on the lights in our houses and set the alarm system before going to bed. Verizon Girl told me that type of technology already exists. The real question, she says is if the FCC and other policy-making organizations will allow that technology to be available to the public.
The Chicken or the Cell phone?
-Questions for Bloggers-
- Have cell phones changed the type of content we receive? Are you reading a new mobile only newspaper? Do you use apps on your phone? If so, how has that changed your life?
- Is the technology fueling the demand to have mobiles with more apps? Or is society creating the demand for more comprehensive technology?
- Who’s adapting? Is society adapting to the changes in technology? Or is it the nature of our society that requires technology to keep-up its needs?