I had just come out from the dentist and was in reception finalising the account and whilst waiting for the transaction to get processed I entered my next appointment and reminders into the calendar app on my smartphone.
As there was a short delay I was also chatting with a younger man next to me who said isn’t it incredible what mobile phones can do today. He then went on to proudly say “I have not had one since the early 90’s, I have never sent a text message or an email either”. That is around 20 years.
I was surprised. More than that I was shocked. No not by what he said, but by my own ignorance. I understand and accept there are a minority of people who choose to stay of the grid, and that is their choice we all have to respect. I just had never met anyone who chose total disconnect.
It was me that for a moment didn’t know how to deal with this. I have met people who choose to not be on Facebook or Twitter or other social networks, but everyone I know including some children is accessible either via email or text. I mean my 8-year-old has an email address and he gets messages from his parents and siblings. He thinks it’s awesome that I can be at work and after he comes home from school he can shoot me an email without having to call, asking for permission to purchase or download a game or app on his iPad. My answers often include “have you finished your homework?”.
Most of us take connectivity via mobile and the Internet for granted. In many ways communication mediums have become ubiquitous and this is especially true since the introduction of the smartphone. I am certainly one who is always connected.
So what can I learn from this? It’s important for all us connected people to be aware and understand that there are many others who do not receive their news and information via the internet. Many still rely on mainstream media like TV, Radio, Newspapers and good old fashioned snail mail.
So next time you set up a new marketing campaign for your business and decide that you will only be using email and the internet for communication, ask yourself “how many prospective customers are you missing out on?”.