Recently, the topic of consumerism has been keeping me up… When we think about consumerism, we think of all the bad connotations. We think about the over-indulgences which led to the recent economic crises; and some of us may even think about how those driven by greed convert their indulgences into situations like the BP oil spill.
Last month I attended Rogers TabLife TO – a conference focused on the advent of tablets (iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Dell Streak, PlayBook). What struck me wasn’t the technology – in fact, it’s expected that the technology should overshadow anything we are currently used to – i.e. the laptop. No, what struck me was WHY these devices are gaining in popularity.
The speaker line up was brilliant, and the majority spoke about how tablets were changing: media, newspapers, philanthropy and retail (among other things). In the end, what stuck with me was the notion that these devices are tools for a new kind of consumerism.
The consumerism we are used to – the “bad kind” which conjures up images of over-indulgence and greed that translates into global crises – has been replaced. The new kind of consumerism is one where the item of “consumption” is non-tangible. It is information.
We are consuming information at breakneck speeds in various formats: video, audio, written, monologue, dialogue and others. We want, more than ever, to participate in a global conversation about everything: politics, books, shoes, recipes, sports… But, why?
In her blog from Apps to Zen, Sinead Mac Manus introduces us to the concept of Digital Obesity. This post talks about the various methods in which we consumer digital information, and the fact that at the speed and volume we consumer, we are getting digitally obese. Sinead offers some tips on how to consumer on a diet. But still no answer as to “why” we do it.
If we can understand why consumers are addicted to digital information, we can produce better, more relevant content. Using this post as a start, why do you consume digital information? Answer the poll below (answers are not exhaustive) and join the conversation: