How many times have you checked your phone today? Let me be more specific, how many times have you accessed your Facebook account, viewed your Twitter feed, laughed at your Instagram photos or read your emails? Towards the end of 2011 81 billion minutes were spent on social networks and blogs*. Digital communication has been on the rise for the last 10 years, and has changed the way we communicate with each other for better or worse.
Before someone picks up a newspaper or turns on the TV, they rush to their mobile device, tablet or web pages to keep their finger on the pulse. With over 274 million Americans accessing the Internet*, information flows so quickly that we have adjusted how we communicate. With apps like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and many more, everyone is trying to communicate much faster to a larger audience. Companies can now reach a larger demographic of consumers to market their products; customers no longer need to walk into a store, see a commercial, or open a paper.
Let me give you a quick example. 30 years ago if a fire broke out in the Empire State Building at 6pm, an eyewitness would give a reporter a “tip” over the phone. That reporter would rush to the scene, get as much information as they could from police and firefighters, interview eye witnesses and rush back to the office hoping they got there in time to include the piece before the paper went to press. Flash forward to present day, you and I can tweet a picture to our local news station who can use it on air in a matter of moments. Media outlets now have millions of reporters and journalists walking the streets and providing stories, without having them on their payroll. That same story is posted on the newspapers website in 15 minutes and 30 minutes later it’s trending on twitter, (complete with uploaded interviews with the victims). In this day and age we want information now and sometimes that isn’t even fast enough!
So I ask you, why call when you can Facebook? Why wait for letters when you can email? Want to save a buck? There is an app for that! Information moves at lightening speed. If I can communicate with you on Gchat even as I write this blog, why would I want to go back when the light at the end of this high-speed tunnel is only getting brighter?
*Source: STATE OF THE MEDIA: U.S. DIGITAL CONSUMER REPORT Q3-Q4 2011