Would you know how many ways your devices connect to the world around you? For the average person it would be a lot more than you think.
Here we are going to take a look at some of the ways that your devices are connected to the world around us in today’s society as well as some of the many possible ways that these connections can grow and evolve in the future to further build upon our interconnected lives.
Lets begin by asking you a question. Do you have a smart device (e.g. a smart phone or smart TV) that is connected to the internet? Odds are that your answer is yes. In 2011, 34% of people in Australia owned a smart phone. Since then that percentage has risen to 65% in 2014 and that is likely to continue to rise in the coming years. By just having a smart device you open yourself up to many opportunities for personal benefits as well as provide opportunities for large businesses to utilise your information as a payment for these benefits. In the online world, nothing is ever free.
Considering that 90% of smart phone users search for local information with their phone, 78% research products with their phone and 41% of people purchase these products with their phones, Large companies gain an invaluable amount of data from these activities that can be sold and purposefully used for marketing strategies such as targeted advertising.
This collection of data occurs with the user just using the internet to browse information and products. When social media is involved the number of connections grows exponentially and provides even more data that can be used in many ways. In February 2015 there were 13.8 million users of Facebook, 13.5 Million users of You Tube, 6.1 Million Work press users, 4.7 Million Tumblr users, 4 million active Instagram accounts and 3.3 Million Linked In accounts. What do all these top social networking products have in common? They are free to use. So how then do these corporations make their billions of dollars every year if they distribute their product to everyone in the world for free? The answer is your data. The information you provide when you make your accounts or even just browse information featured in these products is recorded, collated and sold to various companies around the world that take this data and use it to market their products towards you. While these large companies may not take your money, they take something arguably more valuable. In this world today it is becoming more and more difficult to keep your information personal. For now our choice in whether or not it happens is still here but it may not be like that forever.
David Cowling Social Media News, 2015, Social Media Statistics Australia – February 2015, Viewed 22/8/15, <http://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-statistics-australia-february-2015/>
Trend Micro, 2015, What to consider when buying a smart device, Viewed 22/8/15, <http://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/us/security/news/internet-of-things/what-to-consider-when-buying-a-smart-device>
3RD Sense, 2014, Australian Digital Statistics 2014, Viewed 22/8/15,<http://3rdsense.com/blog/09012014-1121/australian-digital-statistics-2014>
Sydney Morning Herald, 2013, Two thirds of Aussies own a smart phone: Report, Viewed 22/8/15, <http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/twothirds-of-aussies-own-a-smartphone-report-20130729-2quj1.html>