This week, Shelley - our European Sales Manager, guest blogs for Six Ticks, delving into the world of technophobes and the lesser known phenomenon of 'Appvoidance'.
Appmageddon! Why my mum can run but she can't hide from the UK's smartphone obsession!
I was at my mum's house the other day.
She's 67 years old. She had a 30-year career in local government and retired 6 years ago. Her career began with telephones, typewriters and filing cards and ended with online meeting requests, skype, and emails. She's "computer literate" but is it surprising to hear that she's only COMPUTER literate...?
At home she has a desktop computer which connects to the internet via wifi, she books all her holidays online, organises her 'ladies that lunch' groups via email, and she has a Facebook account (although she's too frightened to post on her profile or accept friend requests because she's 'scared of who will see them'). Chatting with my friends I get the feeling she's a fairly typical 67-year old grandmother when it comes to tech.
A Phone That's Just a Phone
So is it shocking to find that the smartphone revolution has somehow passed her by? Now she thinks she's mobile - indeed she does own a mobile phone, but it's one that she's had for years and I don't think you can actually buy in the shops anymore. One of those 'old fashioned' ones which looks like it could survive being dropped out of an aeroplane. And get this... functions as an actual phone! It can only call and text and has no internet access - the horror!
She claims she doesn't need a smartphone. In fact, touch-screen technology terrifies her. It's as though she's scared she'll accidently swipe left and release nuclear warheads and bring on global "Appmageddon". To be honest, I don't think she quite 'gets' the internet.
On the rare occasion she needs to look at my iPad she approaches with caution, like it's a wild animal, holds it at arms-length, as though it's going to self-destruct in her hands, and jumps hysterically if something unexpected appears on-screen.
And you should see her when she goes on holiday.
I try to tell her that nobody needs or uses paper anymore, but she arrives at the airport with a 3-inch thick folder firmly resting under her arm, packed full of hotel reservations, boarding passes, transport receipts, etc, etc.
She says she's happy and doesn't need mobile devices or apps - but I'm not quite sure she knows what an app is to be honest. But I am not judging her for this. In fact I had to google it for an exact description. Google assures me that an app is: "an application, as especially downloaded by a user to a mobile device."
In other words an app is one of those magical little folders on our smartphones that we've specifically downloaded to give us seamless personalised access to anything from social media, email's, online banking, tube maps, dating, takeaway food, train times... the list is endless. In fact my friend Google tells me that there are currently over 2.2 million apps available to download!
Many people would say they couldn't live without apps like Google Maps, Uber, or What's app. But not my mum.
Fight the Future!
So the question I ask is this. How long can my mum's appvoidance possibly last?!
The mobile revolution is real. She can run, but can she hide with these kind of stats?:
- 32 million smartphones are purchased every year (not by my mum evidently)
- 76% of adults in the UK own a smartphone
- A whopping 53% of smartphone users check their phones within 5 minutes of waking
- 89% of online smartphone usage is through apps
In 2018 it is estimated that 15 billion apps will be downloaded! Yup 15 BILLION! I'll keep trying to bring in the future and she'll keep appvoiding it... It's fascinating to see how long this stand-off with technology can last!
Share Your Stories of Appvoidance
If you have a family member or friend who is similarly committed to appvoidance and who is unplugged and happy, get in touch today! We'd love to hear your stories of appvoidance!