Times are changing. We no longer need the Microsoft Encarta in order to do some research, homework or play trivial pursuit. We no longer need to plan events well in advance or lose touch with friends and family overseas. We no longer have to wait for the newspaper to be delivered…
Information is now instantly accessible via the Internet and thanks to the 2.5 billion web enabled cell phones in the world, we’re constantly being fed information or updates that are relevant to us.
“Technology has created an inescapable level of connectivity and exposure. Consumers need time off, some privacy, and to reconnect with the REAL world.” – Mintel
Approximately 25% of holidaymakers accessed the Internet using portable web enabled devices in the last 12 months.
What happened to the days of just sending a postcard, or sharing the holiday with those that were there? I see Facebook, Twitter and sometimes even LinkedIn updates from friends and family whilst they’re holidaying, and have received emails from bosses that are supposed to be taking well deserved breaks.
With this in mind, could technology soon come with its very own mental health warning?
Have we developed an addiction to communications? With 52% of adults admitting to using their smartphones whilst socialising with friends and 22% admitting to using or answering it whilst ‘busy’ in their bathroom… it would definitely appear so!
The issue is evident, and we’re now seeing some bars and hotels advertising the fact they don’t have WiFi, and that they have a real life social environment. According to Mintel, consumers are recognizing they need to take a break from the digital and reconnect with the visceral. That’s good news for the leisure industry, as everything from sports centers to theme parks to golf courses to bookstores can play up the way they reconnect us with the real world.
Whilst that’s quite exciting, it’s important to point out that people aren’t rejecting technology, they’re simply trying to prevent it from taking over their lives.