Ever imagine what a business trip would be like without your smartphone? Most of us would shudder at the thought. Business traveler and VentureBeat columnist John Koetsier actually lived through the experience. And he promises it wasn’t a very enjoyable one. To put it as bluntly as he did, the words he used were: “It sucks.”
After rushing out the door with last-minute tasks before his flight, after it was already too far and too late to turn back, he realized he left his smartphone sitting prettily on his kitchen counter. He wasn’t happy when he realized he was missing what he deemed “an almost essential piece of (his) brain,” and his entire week was one of suffering.
It quickly became evident how much we’ve come to rely on our smartphones when Koetsier outlined everything he missed during that very trying week. His list included:
- Music, which he had on his phone to enjoy at night
- Camera, which he typically used to grab quick pix multiple times each day
- Maps, which he consistently used to get places he needed or wanted to go
- Books, which he liked to read a bit before sleeping
- Mirror, which he gazed in after lunch to check for spinach between his teeth
- Transportation, with no way to Uber for a car
- Fun, with a regular three minutes of games fit in during schedule downtime
- Memory, with no reminders from Siri or quick notes taken on the fly (without the old-fashioned tools of paper and pen)
- Massive brainpower, with Google no longer instantly at his fingertips
- Reality bubble, which keeps him updated on things he cares about, not the stuff in newspapers that other people care about
- Social, missing the steady stream of alerts that reminds him he’s connected to people he knows and loves. (On desktop, you have to seek social out. On smartphones, it comes to you.)
- Dinner diversion, with the smartphone a prime diversion when on business trips eating alone
The Mobile Mindset
Koetsier pointed out that smartphones allow people to be alone together and together alone. Being alone together means being the physical presence of others but spending most of your time on the smartphone. Being together alone means being physically alone but connected with pals through social media. Without your smartphone, you get neither. Without his smartphone, he was just alone.
His laptop came to the rescue, serving as lifeline through the tumultuous time without his smartphone. He engaged on social media. He wrote down directions from Google Maps and carried them in his pocket. He even admitted to using his laptop sideways on his bed in the morning to catch up with his hometown happenings on Facebook. Although he survived the week, he was not happy – a dire warning for others who may forget their smartphone on a business trip.
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