If you’re an average American, you own a television, smartphone, tablet, and either a laptop or desktop computer. You also likely use at least two of them at the same time. Honestly, when the Pew Research Center announced that we spend an average of ten hours a day looking at our phones, it seemed a bit of a low estimate to many.
And who better to explain how the world is changing around us than the creator of a startup that would never have existed had multi-screen viewing never taken off: Nish Patel, founder of ClutchPoints, a mobile application that provides you with real-time updates, friend and celebrity comments, facts, statistics and other information while you watch live sports.
I spoke with Patel about what he’s observed about our changing perceptions of reality, and what he sees for America’s glowing future:
Work Etiquette Changes – And Challenges – Are Ahead
Multi-screen usage is having an affect on how we view the world – mainly that we are now so used to getting what we want, when we want it, and that sense of urgency carries over to every other aspect of our life. For example, when you leave work, your boss knows intuitively that you’ll still be checking your phone, which means that if they email you something, they can be fairly sure you see it soon after, without them even having to ask you to work late.
In that same vein, we even expect our friends and love interests to answer immediately – and it’s become such an ingrained part of our society that there’s a whole unspoken language around delayed text messaging.
“It’s really interesting how pausing with text messages, which were created to remove the pressure of answering immediately, have turned into a whole new form of punctuation in their own right,” said Patel. “I’ve seen considerable push back about answering phones when they’re on vacation from those in my social circle who work in particularly demanding industries, though I still see them check their work email during social events. It will be very interesting to see how our culture changes with the so-called ‘24 hour work day’ becoming norm.”
A Restructuring Of Social Cues
There are many who find the multi-screen lifestyle a bit disturbing, and are concerned that those who spend most of their time looking at a screen will lose their ability – or desire – to socialize with other people in person. However, a 2014 study suggest that isn’t the case; millennials and the generations that follow them simply use smartphones differently. The paths to socializing are different, but human interaction is still as important as it always has been.
“I’m not worried about millennials socializing – if they weren’t, platforms like ClutchPoints wouldn’t be possible,” explains Patel. “Our product’s real selling point for many is that you can keep up to date with your friends’ social media comments, as well as look up stats and expert commentary. If our viewers weren’t looking for that element of socializing, that ability to chat mid-game with a friend who is equally excited but not physically in the same room, I would have much lower expectations for our performance. Sports is all about camaraderie and being part of a team, and fans want to experience that as well.”
Higher Accountability For Every Action
When everyone has a smartphone, tablet and laptop available to them virtually constantly, the world becomes a stage. Whether it’s a picture of pretty leaves and new shoes on a sidewalk, filming of an unjust event, or the livestreaming of an event, multi-screen has also aided in creating content, as well as changed how we digest it.
“The way event are hosted has changed dramatically, just in the last decade. Because every host’s goal is now to be tagged on social media, they take more care in creating moments and backgrounds that are easily captured on multiple platforms,” says Patel. “For example, how many times have you seen a hashtag displayed on an event banner? Have you noticed that lighting has gotten better in stadiums? Also, new technologies that allow users to access wifi, even at crowded events, is more in demand than ever before – all so that the event will be captured and shared as much as possible, even before it’s over.”
How have you noticed multi-screen technology changing how you interact with the world? Do you embrace it, or are you concerned? We’re a little bit of both.