From the moment I get up to the time I go to sleep and all the hours in between, there’s one thing that remains constant in my life. This constant is that I am surrounded by and immersed in my many mobile devices. While at home, I often float between my tablet and smartphone and whenever I leave my home, my smartphone is never far behind me. But I do make a conscious effort to try and unplug from technology by going for outdoor walks on the nature trail by my house. Truth be told, I can’t imagine living my life without having constant access to the internet through my smartphone.
I have a whopping total of 64 apps on my phone but most of them either came with my smartphone or were recommended that I download in order for the phone to work properly. Since I recently bought a smartphone, an Asus ZenFone 3 from Bestbuy (just in case you were wondering), to say that I have become attached to it is a serious understatement.
While I haven’t had the chance to download as many apps as I would like to because I’m worried about using up the memory on my phone, I have around a dozen apps that include Skype, WhatsApp, LastPass, Facebook, and The Weather Network. I personally decided to download and count all my many Google apps as one app since they are from the same company and some of them play off each other. The apps I use twice a week on my mobile phone are Calm, Twilight, WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Calendar, YouTube and The Weather Network.
My Top Five Apps:
Facebook: I am slightly embarrassed by the realization that I spend a HUGE amount of time on Facebook. It’s very easy for me to get lost in Facebookland; liking and commenting on posts and sharing the ones that move me. My absolute favourite guilty pleasure is watching animal videos. They totally melt my heart. Being a foodie, I’m constantly watching fun and fast paced cooking videos from companies like Eater, blogTO, and The Food Network to name a few. I’m also on Facebook messenger, so I’m able to keep in touch with my friends easily.
Calm App: When I wake up in the morning, I have a tough time getting myself going. To maximize my time and ensure I get a fresh meditative start to the day, I will usually listen to one of the Calm app recordings while getting ready. It helps me refocus and reenergize myself to start myself off on the right foot. While I use it fairly regularly, I really want to make it a daily habit because it adds so much value to my day.
Google Calendar: I started using Google calendar a few years ago and it has quickly become one of my all time favourite apps and the one I’m constantly on. I use it as my personal organizer. It helps me to keep on top of all my assignments and ensure that I’m utilizing my time effectively. I’ve even started colour labeling my appointments to correspond with different areas of my life. For example, if I have an urgent in-person appointment, I would colour code that in red but if it’s a self-care activity then I would colour it purple. This is a great visual tracking method for me to be mindful of having a variety of colours on my calendar so that I’m leading a balanced life. This has helped me to focus on the bigger picture and not worry about missing anything because it’s all in my Google calendar.
The Weather Network: Canadian weather has been so unpredictable the past few months, so I always have to check the weather before heading out the door. My secret to dressing for Canadian weather? Layers, lots and lots of layers.
YouTube: If there is ever a burning question I want to find an answer to immediately, I can usually find it on YouTube. Sometimes it can be hit or miss with the quality of information but for the most part, I find it incredibly helpful. For example, when it comes to DIY instructions on YouTube, sometimes the videos are way too complicated that most people would not bother to actually complete the project.
Also, I’ve been having fun on YouTube to try and find TV shows I grew up watching. I’ve noticed that when I checked for one particular animated movie a few years back it wasn’t on their site. But when I checked this weekend it finally got uploaded which was an exciting discovery for me. With YouTube being such a popular site, I think people now realize the sheer power of it. I’m also a big music fan so I enjoy listening to my favourite songs and the fact that they come with a video to watch. Total bonus!
I-want-to-know moment: I’m usually at home when I’m wondering about what the weather will be like the next day. I will either use my smartphone or tablet to check The Weather Network forecast for Toronto. I like being able to know what mother nature has in store so I can dress appropriately. It makes me feel a bit more in control of my day so I’m not worried about getting caught in a thunderstorm.
I-want-to-go moment: I often drive to appointments/meetings outside of Toronto and I’m not sure what my best option is for grabbing lunch when I’m hungry and in between appointments. When I’m on the run, I will often type into my smartphone ‘restaurant near me’ or sometimes even a specific type of cuisine near me. Sometimes I get frustrated because there are just way too many options. It makes my life easier if I have a specific goal/search terms in mind or better yet a particular place in mind and then I can find it online. Of course, my next move is to tap on my Google maps to get me there. Having online reviews of different restaurants is great so I don’t wind up somewhere where the food is inedible.
I-want-to-do moment: I’ve been wanting to find more natural options for facial scrubs/masks so I searched online and found a few interesting recipes which I tried. My favourite suggestion was taking oatmeal and using it as a scrub since it’s moisturizing and gentle on the skin. I would be at home searching online and more likely to use my tablet for this search because the screen is larger for YouTube instructional videos. Some of the DIY homemade mask recipes didn’t yield such great results. I think I’ll stick to my traditional clay mask that I buy from the store.
I-want-to-buy moment: I was looking to do a major car repair and wanted to shop around to compare prices. I searched on my mobile phone to find my local Canadian Tire and called them directly. Oddly enough the sales representative helped me with another unrelated issue to the car which was a pleasant surprise. He also sent me a detailed online estimate via email which included a very scary, large amount. While I did not take my car there, I do appreciate the amazing customer service I always seem to get at the Rexdale Canadian Tire by my house.
I never realized how attached I was to my phone until the day it completely stopped working. A few weeks ago my phone decided it needed a break and completely froze on me. I was so frustrated by not being able to access my phone, I felt like someone had taken my right arm away. Once I got it back up and running, I felt so incredibly relieved. I don’t think I can survive without my phone, not only has it become a part of my everyday routine but it’s literally become a part of me.
As a marketer, if I had to analyze my own movements online I think I would be a prime target for Geotargeting Mobile Advertising because through GPS advertisers know where I am and also where I like to go, based on my previous trips. So marketers can easily cater offers and calls to action according to my movement and culinary tastes. Marketers must make their content mobile-friendly since the majority of people have their own smartphones (which are attached to them at all times), even if they don’t have a home computer. There are amazing opportunities to create brand awareness because the majority of smartphone users can’t put down their phones, myself being no exception.