BY Hannah Schmitt
Mobile technology is our future. Technology has impactfully evolved from being merely just a form of luxury segregating society into classes to an entity engraved into the everyday. We make sense of the world around us through the eyes of the mobile phone.
This is redefining the way organisations and brands engage with their audiences. The challenge is to understand how technology is shifting the way people shape their view of the world and give it meaning through the stories they want to create.
Fifty years ago, what we now know as the smartphone was just a figment of one’s imagination. The phone was bulky and static in nature, consisting of a mechanical wheel that meant you had to dial a digit at a time to make a phone call. Communicating to people around the world was only possible through letters and therefore communication was by no means instant.
Twenty-five years ago, touch-tone services came into play slaying dialing time and is still today, foreshadowing the digital revolution that influences everyday communications. We have ventured into the generation of innovation and mobility: two concepts that were previously understood as two separate entities are now two sides of the same coin.
Technology is an intricate part of our lives on a day-to-day basis, the mobile phone even more so. I wake up and the first thing I reach for is my phone and I will not be the only one who does that. The mobile phone to our generation is almost like a third arm, weaving itself deeper and deeper into the roots of our lives and who we are.
Five years from now, our generation will be even more integrated technologically speaking. The path of technology is in nature, never ending. We have fractured the defined lines between the public and the private through mobilisation and communication bringing the private into the public embodied space.
This will only lead to the development of privatisation within urban spaces leading to the private space being a form of the public. The mobile phone has opened a realm in which we can create almost a cocoon for ourselves communicating and interacting with whom we choose to, through apps like iMessage, Facebook, Snapchat, Gmail.
All forms of technology will progress in means of mobility with implications on the vast possibilities mobilising technology will have on the urban makeup of spaces. More and more so everyday activities will become possible through the mobile phone where the phone becomes a personalised device that is indistinguishable from ourselves, living our lives through our phones.
The next trend will fall under this concept of mobility of technology. Applications will become the sole definer of who we are and what we can do. The mobile phone has given us an area of control; we are in control of who we are through our mobile devices. We can move through urban spaces creating a cocoon in which we can communicate with others, travel from A to B and privatise a public space for ourselves, through the mobile phone.
This concept of shaping our own space will only grow. We will be able to control our lives even more so than we do today through our mobile phones. A new demographic will arise from this and that demographic is not based on gender or age but on access to mobile devices. The future is literally in our hands. We have the control – creating and sharing our story – through the mobile phone.
As a result, this will fundamentally change the way organisations and brands engage with consumers and requires a paradigm shift in the way stories are crafted and the role of technology in shaping, storing and sharing these stories. The opportunities for public-policy makers are equally profound – particularly in how people relate to their space (or communities) and the stories they create to form their identities – and indeed how they wish to redefine their identities – lending new approaches to behaviour change.
We are witnessing the emergence of human-centred storytelling and how technology is playing a profound role in transforming the way people create meaning in the world they want to experience. To quote Henry David Thoreau: “The world is but a canvas to our imagination.” Technology is broadening and deepening that canvas.
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(Image credit: Annie Spratt)Tags: branding, communications, Digital, Story, Storybuilding, strategy, Technology