Who needs a phone, anyway?

teenhomescreen.jpg-largeOh, I love this – it is a screenshot of this man’s 13 year old daughter’s iPhone home screen. Within easy reach are:

  • Camera
  • Instagram
  • Text messaging
  • Web browser

Less accessible (i.e., tucked away within a folder) are:

  • iTunes
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Youtube

And nowhere to be seen:

  • Facebook
  • and… Phone!

I suspect this reflects the mobile habits of many teens. It certainly reflects my teen’s (except, maybe, for Snapchat), who would happily do without her iPhone, but will not leave home the room without her iPod.

Some thoughts that this screenshot inspired in me, in relation to marketing to this group of consumers, include:

  • Who needs a phone, anyway? – This group wants web-enabled mobile devices, not phones;
  • Show me, don’t tell me – Images are key in how this age group experiences the world, makes sense of their experiences, and interacts with each other;
  • Do you really want me to like your Facebook page? – If you target this age group, your days of feeling frustrated with Facebook and how it makes life difficult for you may be over sooner rather than later. Hooray;
  • Emoticons everywhere – These little drawings can pack a lot of meaning and really enhance communication in this era of small screens and limited characters. If we are mining social media data for customer insight, we need to find a way of including emoticons in our analysis.

What else did you find interesting in this snapshot of a teen’s mobile?

8 thoughts on “Who needs a phone, anyway?

  1. I like how the folders are organised by colour. That’s interesting. Even if done by algorithm, colour seems to play an important role. That could also be something for marketeers to think about.


    1. I was puzzled by the classification of apps by colour because it seems to me that this requires a higher cognitive effort than otherwise: first, I need to think what I want to do (e.g., chat with my friend) or what app I want to use (e.g., snapchat), an then recall the logo and its colour, so that I can find the right folder to access this app. Does that make sense to you?

      Mind you, my teen once organise the icons on her iPad into folders labelled ‘boring stuff’, ‘very boring stuff’, and so on…


    1. Ah! That is an interesting contribution, Tim… artefacts shaping our thought processes. Really fascinating.

      I also saw an article some time ago, I do not remember where, that how we read (physically), now, is also changing as a result of reading things on screens vs. paper. I.e., how our eyes survey the ‘surface’ where the text is.


  2. This is really interesting. I didn’t know teens nowadays don’t really use Facebook. I thought Facebook is still a major hit with all ranges of people. No games? Surprisingly. Haha!


    1. Certainly with my daughter and her friends, Facebook is not a thing at all. Some created an account, but only because they needed it to sign up for a game, or get extra points – so, they do not really use it.


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