What Our Dysfunctional Relationship with our Mobile Devices Teaches us About Decision Making

Nov 27, 2017, 16:41 PM by Julian Bullock

IoT_450x450-300x300Jared Ficklin from Argodesign spoke at a recent conference and likened cell phones to our babies.  We cradle them.  We speak to them.  We buy little clothes for them.  We feed them.  And we are surprised when they testify against us.

And he went on to describe two effects of having the world’s knowledge in our pocket.

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO):  With an always-connected device, it is beeping and vibrating constantly.  An alarming number of us sleep with our phones next to our bed.  Not just for the alarm capabilities, but for a fear of missing out of the news or events among our social networks.  The idea of missing a text from a friend, an email from work or a call from home when we are traveling can cause elevated heart rates and anxiety.  FOMO is a real thing that is evidenced when our phones are out of charge or out of service range.

Fear of Decision Making:  As our phones give us turn-by-turn directions, we are getting less familiar with our communities.  As phones store phone numbers, we no longer commit them to memory.  We are outsourcing our memory and a whole host of skills to our devices, causing us to be dependent upon them.  It is called “cognitive dependence.”  So, now when our phones are dead or out of range, we not only will have FOMO, but we will also have Fear of Decision Making (FODM).

The same two effects are happening in the AV industry as well.  You can’t attend a major event, read industry publications, or the like without feeling like there is always more to know.  And this can lead to a fear of decision making.  Fear that something that we don’t know yet will affect our decisions.  Fear that new developments might make our previous selections irrelevant,  especially when the jobs are prolonged and there are months between specification and purchase and installation.

In the dynamic world of technology, these fears are real.  But it’s not a reason to move more slowly.  It is a reason to move more quickly.  AV integrators and their customers have the most advanced, most affordable and most capable products available than have ever been available in the industry.  Sure, the product roadmaps will roll on and innovations will continue, but there is rarely justification for waiting very long to take action.  You have a business need.  There are solutions to those needs.  Why wait?