Traveling With Mobile and Social

Two weeks ago my son was involved in an accident that fortunately turned out to just be “scary.” We were attending an exhibition far from home when part of a booth fell, hitting him on his head. As blood started coming down his face, we rushed to get him medical attention.

While he was being treated, I quickly contacted the rest of my family via my mobile device. When my family did not believe that my son was “not that bad,” I contacted them using Apple FaceTime so they could see for themselves and somewhat speak to him directly.

After the examination, the physician informed us that he had suffered a minor concussion, which sounded quite alarming to the rest of us. To soothe us, she told us to look at a few videos on YouTube that explained what had happened and what we needed to watch out for.

Not only did she share the names of the videos, but she also typed them into the Google search box and cut and pasted a some videos into an email.

What was interesting is that this hospital offered private kiosks with full access to the Internet. I learned that these kiosks were used to assist with potential questions that family and friends may have while waiting to get an update about their loved one’s condition.

My son posted a status on Facebook about his accident with the booth and an update on his health. He included a link to one YouTube video so that our family and his friends could see the potential risks of suffering from a minor concussion.

Our travels have kept us away from home for the past two weeks, yet we continue to receive best wishes from family and friends. In addition to all the chatter among “friends,” we have also received some very targeted advertising from attorneys and insurance companies offering insurance for future expeditions.

One of our more enjoyable activities has been sharing pictures from our trip on our social networks. Perhaps the most useful thing on this vacation has been our smartphones. From sharing pictures to communicating to accessing stuff on the cloud, our personal mobile devices have helped us carry less when we travel and do much more.

It has added significant convenience as well. Many sites we visited accept digital tickets that we had on our smartphones. Some tours at these locations were available as downloads as well.

Mobile holds a lot of promise for us as individuals as well as consumers. Our mobile devices are a constant point of contact for all of our daily activities. Mobile is essentially reinventing the way consumers experience business.

Consumers today own multiple data-connected devices that are checked multiple times a day. A recent study by NCR Corp. found that 46 percent of all 18- to 24-year-olds would choose Internet access over access to a car.

The opportunity this holds for businesses is remarkable, but they need to be prepared. Employees need to be trained on how to use social so they can mentor consumers. And mobile needs to be integrated in order to meet the demands of today’s consumer.

Related reading