One of the original promises of the desktop computer would be more time. More time for you, more time to think, more time to play. In fact, it instead led to all-time highs in productivity. We simply just used that extra time to do more work.
Advancements in media and technology come with the same promise of ease and efficiency. Will these truly give us the gift of time, or will they simply drive more out of us? Let’s look.
Content. We used to tune in at a set time on a set day to view watch what we were told to watch. All broadcaster controlled, and not user centric. The tradeoff was sitting through slotted advertisement time that paid for the programming. Now we pay per view, or per month – or just watch – in a completely user controlled environment, where the “broadcaster” provides all content at a set fee or free. This new found time however has us binge watching entire seasons when they first come out and spending more hours on all screens.
Shopping. Make the list, get in the car, drive to the mall, find a spot, walk to the mall, roam around stores, browse the racks, find out if they have your size, settle for something different, wait in line to pay, pay, get out of the mall, find your car, drive home, collapse. The shopping experience of even 5 years ago was exhausting. Now, search, click, select, buy. All in five minutes and you can be done. With increased basket sizes, ecommerce visits come rising debt levels and consumer spending we are simply buying more.
Driving. The promise of level 5 autonomous vehicles is coming fast. Manufacturers have been getting us ready by slowing easing in technology to make us feel more comfortable giving up the steering wheel completely. The majority of cars today spend the majority of their time sitting still. With cars being able to drive themselves they can be shared, we don’t even need to own one to have easy access to one today. The largest barrier to have less cars then becomes consumers becoming more comfortable of giving up control, and ownership.
Media. More media is consumed by more consumers every day, and growing. The choices are endless and your brands’ competition is not the other brand in your category. It is every other piece of media, experience, offer and distracting squirrel that tries to tempt us away from what we were doing. The answer here for brands, and consumers, is to deliver more that is relevant. The more relevant you are, the less you need to deliver and the more efficient you can become. So while there is more overall, there should be less to the individual consumer.
What to do then with all of these choices, distraction and joys? Make the most of your time and money. They have a definitive supply.