Just how reliant do you think you are on the internet? How would you feel if you didn’t have a phone or iPad for a day? Recently, as an experiment, I left my phone at home for the day to see just how addicted I really had become…

…in short, going cold turkey was a SHOCK to the system.

From a personal perspective it was an inconvenience in my working day; not having the ability to check train times or send texts was a pain, but ultimately I can get around these things. Same with making calls; the phone box is a rare sight in London, but if I needed to make a call it wasn’t impossible. I did miss Spotify and Facebook, and my addiction to playing solitaire was severely tested, but all in all my standard day was merely disrupted. Indeed, I could probably adjust to all the inconveniences within a few days by carrying change for phones, having an iPod and a newspaper.

No, the pain for me came in the detriment to my productivity. I didn’t realise just how much time I saved reading (and replying to) email and documents whilst travelling. Like most people, when in a meeting I take notes, but I often take a photo of the whiteboard too. I use a plethora of internet connected apps and services through my phone like Calendar, Task Management, LinkedIn, DropBox, Facebook, Twitter – and not forgetting the big one – Google. Not having these meant my mobile productivity essentially ground to a halt: I missed meetings, forgot to update my task list and subsequently ended up having to work late trying to catch up.

I confess, both personally and professionally, I am addicted to my phone. But this also means it’s my preferred choice of channel for using services from other businesses. We all buy/use goods and services via our mobiles every day, and societies reliance or desire for smartphones isn’t going away. Recent GSMA stats forecast that 2 out of 3 mobiles will be a Smartphone by 2020; this means 6bn people will have a Smartphone in 6 years and this growth is driven by the availability of lower priced data tariffs. In short, people buy a smartphone to use it on the internet. And demographics are seemingly irrelevant – my 84yr old mother uses her iPhone for everything!

It was interesting experiment that not only exposed my dependence on my phone, but also highlighted that if brand or business wants my custom my smartphone is definitely my channel of choice.

Andrew Salmon