Is our mobile mode of living making us smarter?

Posted on October 1, 2013 by


Came across an intriguing post examining whether or not smartphones are making us less impulsive by Jon Nathanson.

The piece shed some light on a paper that looks at consumer behaviour in retail stores, specifically research surrounding the nature of impulse buying.


We’ve all been there, right?

Lined up at the Express check-out (with well over the Express Limit of 8 items in tow) our eyes blankly scanning among a static waterfall of tabloid headlines, gum, energy drinks and chocolate bars.

Were we more impulsive at buying before we had smartphones?

You know, those instantaneous moments where our attention was trapped in a slow-moving check-out line and we just sighed to ourselves saying “meh, I guess I could stuff my face with this seemingly healthy-looking chocolate covered power bar .. I’m starving!..”

The piece also drew from various research depicting an apparently struggling candy industry. Could there be a correlation? Are our smartphones finally saving us from unnecessary extra spending and calories?

Let’s explore the notion of how our highly mobile-driven life is shaping our attention, not just as consumers but also in other areas of our day-to-day life that heavily demand our attention.

Q1 Does the attention we devote to our smartphones affect how more or less distracted we are to other stimuli around us? If so, what does this really suggest ?

Q2 Apart from the powerfully evident presence of mobile in the retail industry, what other industries or service sectors are leveraging mobile to tap into our attention and wallets. How are they doing this?

Q3 How do you envision our mobile mode of living making us smarter? Which specific area(s) do you see mobile helping enhance an existing mode of behaviour?

Q4 If smartphones were in fact making us smarter, what specific smartphone feature(s)/function(s) do you think is/are contributing to this? How?

Posted in: Mobility