Are Smart Phones Making Us Dumb?

Mark Beebe | September 18, 2013 | Stevens and Tate

As you know or might not know I am a fact guy. Love and eat facts all day. I am fascinated as to how many people use the smart phone to send texts, check email or watch a show in the car. Let’s start this blog off with a few deadly facts:

  1. In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 injured in 2010.
  2. As of December 2012, 171.3 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month. (CTIA)
  3. At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. (NOPUS)
  4. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. (VTTI)

A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving. (UMTRI)

Now take this data and dig deeper within its meaning. It is very clear that Mobile today is the way we are communicating and receiving data. Some users can’t seem to turn it off but it’s obvious that this is where advertising is moving towards.

My point to these facts are, simply stated, smart phones are as smart as the user however looking deeper, this trend is only going to rise. Forrester Research recently came out with some facts on where mobile users are when they go online. 78% are in stores while shopping while 76% are in the car. 68% are in the bedroom which has other effects later down the road with relationships. And 62% use their smartphone on “my daily commute”. It seems that smartphones are leading us down a path of “watching” and answering or being on call 24 hours a day. 12 million people used Netflix on a phone or tablet in the last 30 days. Only 11 million used YouTube in the same time period. Now where is the opportunity in this? $11.8 billion dollars is projected for U.S. mobile ad spending in 2014, according to eMarketer.

And you ready for another pointer? U.S. Facebook users that access the network via mobile in May 2013 was 60%. Twitter carried the weight of 56%. These numbers are staggering since that is 600 million plus! Why aren’t you advertising on Facebook? Why aren’t you investing in mobile? It is very clear that this is the new future. Still don’t believe, average hours and minutes per day on digital from 2012 to 2013 is up 15.8% to FIVE HOURS and 16 minutes. Newspapers are down from :22 minutes to :18 minutes. It’s apparent that if you are not advertising online and have a direct mobile relationship, you are missing out on quite possible the biggest audience you will ever have.

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