The New Mobile Bohemian
Mobile bohemianism has evolved from the advances in cell phones and how phones are being used these days. Interestingly, the actual number of minutes that cell phones are used is leveling out, with the time per call dropping from 3.13 minutes per call in 2007 to 1.81 minutes. That’s down 42%. A major shift. People were downgrading their call plans and using more texting, with texting growing by 50% nationwide in the last year alone. In fact, data usage on the phones now exceeded voice usage according to the New York Times (check out the 5/13/10 article).
That means that these portable devices were creating a growing genre of mobile user.
The mobo is the top-tier user, the alpha dog of mobile users. He or she is not necessarily young or footloose, not your average techie nor high-strung businessman with emails landing like planes at LaGuardia. No they span generations and stereotypes. Except looking around, you can tell them by how they handle their phones, how involved they become with their devices. A mobo masters his mobile device to the point that it not only fits naturally into his or her hand, but into almost any social situation as well. They carry their phones much like espresso demitasses, sipping on them (figuratively speaking) and not letting their enjoyment interfere with the conversations at hand. The warm smell of electronics permeates the air, their screen reflecting irresistible colors in their eyes.
And they are so attentive and involved. How can that be?
Mobos come from all walks of life and cross the typical levels of social strata, unconstrained by location, freed from their offices, able to roam, to interact, to connect with their peers or work associates, to access the wealth of information from anywhere practically speaking — and all from their mobile phones. The common term is device, because it resembles less and less the phones of the prior generation. They aren’t mere cell phones, but rather mobile platforms, with huge bright screens, keyboards (either on the screen or hard keyboards that can slide out or are embedded on the front), cameras, GPS systems, storage, internet connections, music players, Wi-Fi and of course in many cases, a phone. They were becoming less cheek-friendly according to wireless folks. To many a mobo, the phone portion is optional (for example, on the iPod and iPad). Mobos master the keyboard, bookmark dozens of web sites, receive daily digests of news and recommendations and, in short, operate among us – but at one level up.
The new generation of mobile phone aficionados is best described by the following observations:
- They are comfortable with technology.
- They have demanding life-styles, such as jobs that require them to be on top of things, or social lives that require constant attention and cultivation.
- They are accustomed to multitasking.
- They have a curiosity and fierce willingness to follow their instincts with the aid of their phones.
- They exude a sense that there is too much to do and little time to do it in.
- They love to interact and collaborate with everyone no matter where they are.
In short a mobo is unencumbered by time and place. Mobos can keep a certain continuity with friends and partners through a variety of situations during the day, constantly updating their statuses, constantly on the prowl for new forms of entertainment or news.