Tag Archives: iPhone

We’re connected, but are we really connecting?

Look around you.  When you are out at a restaurant, how many folks do you see typing away on their iPhone or BlackBerry, and ignoring their family or friends?  When you are at your kid’s soccer game, how many parents do you see paying more attention to their phone than to what their child is doing on the field?  The same question can be posed for business meetings, movies, concerts, parties, sporting events… and the list goes on and on.

When you wake up each morning, is checking your Twitter or Facebook account one of the first things that you do?  Do you go home from work and immediately get on your computer or your phone?  Have you ever sent a tweet from the dinner table?  Have you ever sat in a business meeting with your laptop and found yourself on a social-networking site?  Do you have friends on Facebook whom you haven’t spoken with in 20 years who know more about what’s going on in your life than your parents do?

We think we are being social on these gadgets, but are we really?

Don’t get me wrong.  I love technology, and I do my fair share of social networking, but it has become increasingly interesting to me how social media has made it easier for people to connect… in much less meaningful and rich ways.  Sure, we’re connected, but are we really connecting?  Do we truly understand and communicate with each other?

And what is suffering?  In my opinion… time, focus, and productivity.

  • Time: Quality face-to-face time with family, important business contacts and close friends, or time to read a good book, partake in a meaningful hobby, or do whatever it is you enjoyed doing prior to the social media explosion.
  • Focus: Multitasking just doesn’t work.  Are you really focused on your family or work (or driving a car) if you keep bouncing back and forth between them and your texts, tweets, or status updates?
  • Productivity: This one is pretty obvious… and not just for the workplace.

Social media definitely helps me stay connected to the activities and opinions of my friends and family.  I think it is great for that.  But should I really be taking the time to care about what some guy from my high school whom I haven’t talked to in more than 20 years has to say about his dream from last night?

Here’s a scary statistic.  A September poll by Harris Interactive said that among 18-34-year-olds, just 27 percent said they would rather see friends in person than communicate through social media.  Where are we headed?  Is human interaction actually at risk?

Regardless, social media cannot continue to be about having lots of friends and followers.  It needs to be about expanding your network and making connections with individuals and businesses that might add value to your life in some way.  And just to be clear, I really don’t care if you just woke up and think that it is gonna be a wonderful day, or if you just checked in at the OK Café, or if you need one more cow to complete your farm.

— Stephen Weinstein, Director of Account Management

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Once an iPhone Junkie- always an iPhone junkie

The new Apple iPhone
Image by Victor Svensson via Flickr

Last time I posted a blog entry to our site, I shared a dark secret: I’m an iPhone junkie. Nothing has changed that fact since then (if anything, my obsession has grown), but the news and PR nightmare over the release of the new iPhone 4 certainly gave reason to examine my loyalty to this product and the Apple brand.

As the new products began to hit the doorsteps of millions across the nation, I eagerly awaited the Facebook updates, news articles, e-mails, commercials, etc., that would surely have me boiling over with excitement at the thought of my future upgrade. “Apple has done it again,” I thought, “they’ve actually outdone themselves.” But less than a week after the release, complaints with the new version hit the streets like wildfire. Poor signal strength, discoloration on the screen, the glass scratches much easier than before, defects with the rear camera, and more. It seemed Apple had released a faulty product and disappointed the masses.

Or had they? At the same time the news focused on the higher profile errors of the iPhone 4 and the damage likely to be done to the Apple brand, I also began to see efforts to rally against the bad media and defend the brand and its product. Status updates spoke of pure obsession over the new iPhone 4 and having little or no problems at all. Tweets near and far called for a reality check– these issues could happen with any cell phone! Steve Jobs gave that same check to the nation when he commented, “We’re not perfect…phones aren’t perfect.” As a brand supporter and product enthusiast, I agree with Mr. Jobs. The iPhone is not perfect, but for me, the hundreds of things this device can do right get it pretty close. Opinions like these have slowly started to pop up in articles addressing the issue, as more and more iPhone junkies like me work to have our voices heard and remain devout loyalists to Apple.

Though the issues remain, and more are certain to develop with each new product, I foresee the strength of the brand to continue growing. Apple is loved, admired, and defended endlessly by so many junkies, myself included. Though I won’t deny a dropped call every so often is frustrating, or that having an application close out on me unexpectedly is annoying, at the least, I know I’ll eventually get over it. In the end, it’s worth it to me. It says something great of a brand’s reputation when a customer can take the good with the not so good and remain more than happy with the product. And that those customers go beyond contentment to actually rise up and profess their loyalties to the brand when the going gets tough says even more.

Keep it up, Apple. Now when can I expect the iPhone 5?

— Beth Madigan, Account Executive

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iPhone Junkies Unite!

Image representing iPhone 3G as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

As a relatively new member of the seemingly elite “I own an iPhone” club, I am still discovering the joys (and challenges) of owning such a life-changing device. And no, I do not think “life-changing” is an overstatement — buy one, you’ll see. On a daily basis I am uncovering the hottest apps, pushing my personal status updates across various networking sites, reading news feeds about the economy’s latest mishap, downloading music, purchasing movie tickets…the list goes on. This thing has integrated itself into my life beyond the realm of a typical cell phone, and I may be slightly obsessed. However, it wasn’t until recently, when a friend encouraged me to read this article from the Huffington Post, that I realized “obsessed” may be a slight understatement. Seven words in, and I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty: iPhone Turns Users Into Junkies, Study Finds.

My initial reaction to the piece was to put up my defenses. Erroneous! I’m no junkie, no addict! But as time passed and I rattled off reasons to justify my “non-addiction”, I began to feel unconvinced. You see, I am one of those users you frown upon as I navigate the aisles of Publix with one hand on the cart, the other furiously typing away. I’m one of those users who sits down to watch a previously recorded television show, yet always has one eye on that little handheld screen. And though I am strongly opposed to texting while driving, I still get excited to hear that little beep en route, and upon putting the car in park sprint into response mode at full speed ahead. And these are just a few examples. So, I have finally come to terms with and accepted the reality of my situation: My name is Beth, and it is quite possible that I am an iPhone junkie.

But is that necessarily a bad thing? I must believe that I am not the only, nor even the first, to ultimately accept and embrace being eternally bound to a piece of plastic with internet access. The evidence is clear in what so many businesses are doing these days to promote their brands to “addicts” like me. I’m not watching live television like I used to, and skipping commercials as a result. My eyes and attention are glued to the screen, and not to your indoor signage all over the MARTA cars. I’m not surfing the Web and reading banner ads as traditionally as I used to. But, it doesn’t mean I’m not getting exposed to the same product information and messaging as those who are.

For example, I can’t play a game on my phone without first seeing a screen advertising Tim Burton’s new movie, or the hottest shoes to hit the courts since Air Jordans. Searching for a simple dinner recipe prompts my phone to ask me if I want to download The Food Network mobile app or receive 10% off a Martha Stewart cookbook. Companies big and small are making moves to embrace the reality that many of their best consumers are part human, part smartphone. Their marketing efforts are tailored to reach us mobile addicts in a variety of ways; and though I cannot quote anything verbatim, I know there is research out there to prove their efforts are paying off. Each day I discover new and interesting things on this device, and each day I am exposed to new and interesting methods of advertising. The possibilities are infinite.

I applaud the brands that have gone the extra mile to make their advertising more mobile-friendly, and challenge those who have not gotten there quite yet to also embrace this reality and tailor their efforts accordingly. There is still plenty of room on the bandwagon; we hope you’ll join us soon!

— Beth Madigan, Account Executive

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