This article hit close to home for me. A few people in my life, namely one, who shall remain anonymous, have posed the theory that “multi-tasking” via various technological devices in fact hinders productivity, despite its effort to enhance it.
Apparently this certain someone’s opinion carries weight. According to research from the University of Michigan and the University of California, our brains need a rest – and when we give it to them, they tend to process and remember information better.
But alas, this is not the trend toward which our society is heading. Instead, technologies are being developed daily which make it easier for us to eat up every free moment of time by sending an e-mail, playing a game, tweeting our whereabouts and of course, buying things.
That’s where this gets interesting for us e-commerce aficionados. While studies that show people learn and process information better after taking a break from their iPhones, Blackberrys, iPads and the like, I wonder how the constant use affects their mobile buying decisions. I have a feeling – quite a strong one – that research on users’ purchasing trends would turn out positive results based on the more they fill up time with using them. Why? Besides the obvious – which is that the more people are looking at little screens, the more they’ll be apt to click ads leading them to products or search their favorite sites for deals – people, especially business people, are on a constant strive for productivity. Even when at the gym, as the aforementioned article asserts, people want to get things done, and mobile devices help them do that.
If productivity is the goal, that feeling you get when you click the purchase button on that gift you’ve been meaning to buy for Mom, or that order you were supposed to make for those office supplies at work will get you there. It’s an act that’s instantly gratifying – you got something done.
My guess is that regardless of research on negative intellectual effects of mobile technologies, usage will only get more fervent and so will online mobile purchasing.