The Mobile Phone & Independence

It’s fairly well-known by now that mobile communication has changed our lives dramatically – adoption that is reaching levels of 1 mobile phone per person int he world (Mobile is Taking Over The World), with developing countries out-pacing developed countries. And the smart phone and its apps along with text messaging and Facebook has changed every aspect of our lives: how we stay in touch, who we stay in touch with, how we shop, how we consume information, what information we have access to. Everything is at your finger tip in real time. Even how revolutions unravel have changed with Facebook and Twitter as has been evident in the Middle East in recent years.

But an interesting question is, has the mobile phone not just changed how we do so many things, but also how we think of ourselves. Has it added an independent spirit to our mindset. As this story in Forbes The Redefinition of the Entrepreneur highlights, the Millenials have a different mindset about careers and work environments that focuses on independence. According to the story by 2020 40% of the US workforce will be freelancers (I actually prefer the term Independent over Freelancer, as it’s more accurate and not based in mid-evil history).

In a way the mobile phone has allowed us to cut the umbilical cord to many things. The consumer and the employee now control many aspects of their lives, they are no longer constrained by environmental space / time / access constraints. And this has changed our expectations and our attitude as a society, has turned the entire society into a more independent set of people, with huge implications on many of our traditional structures from work place, consumption, communication, politics.

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