In the 1970’s and 1980’s American students drank more milk than caffeinated beverages. Today the opposite is true. During this same time period malls were the primary mode of mass business. Today that mass business has shifted to an online environment.
Not only is there more business online and less in traditional retail outlets, but also many relationships have been forged online. The term “Mouse Potato” has been coined to describe someone who spends a great deal of time using his or her computer. The truth is many users are taking their Internet on the road. Their cell phones access email and provide Internet tools. Laptops are turned on in coffee shops and restaurants so people can connect with each other and answer personal correspondence.
Online use is often exceeding that of traditional television watching and radio listening. Users are finding the mixed elements of the Internet an inexhaustible playground of information, fun and friendship.
It may be an electronic tether, but Americans seem to be content to be connected at all hours of the day. Walk through virtually any street in this country and watch as pedestrians walk by with their face glued to the screen of their phone. They don’t have time to talk to each other or even to be especially rude – they just want to see what vital bit of communication appears on their screen next.
Tweens and teens may prefer to go home and chat, text or email each other than get together or even hang out at the mall. This is the world business exists in today.
It’s a world where potential customers want to be impressed with something new and exciting. It’s a place where branding comes with the territory of online marketing and it’s a time of shops that never close and information that is freely available to all. It’s a marketplace of ideas and an idea that appeals to marketers. This is the Internet.
This isn’t just a passing phase – this is global obsession. Customers want to see what’s available in online shops around the world. They want to know more about whatever they are buying. They love the idea of choice and they are becoming used to deliveries of purchased items to their front door.
If they don’t have to leave their personal comfort zone to shop they can spend more time searching, chatting and reviewing the profiles of friends.
It doesn’t even matter if you think this is a positive environment for us to be in. This article is simply designed to reflect what is actually going on. There seems to be no sign of slowing down either. Ten years from now there will be a very small minority of individuals who will not be connected to the Internet.