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How Technology Has Changed Our Behavior

It's easy to point at the internet and claim it as the single most important technological achievement of our lifetime. And while the technology behind the internet has made way for advancements that we never before thought possible, it is actually the culture resulting from the internet that has changed the way we interact as a species. We are now much more than users of the digital network. We are, in fact, part of it.

The internet is woven into various aspects of our lives, and we are always "connected" in one way or another. From the way we interact with our friends and family, to the way we consume information, make purchasing decisions, and demonstrate brand loyalty, technology has had a major impact on our day-to-day behavior.

We are the Hive

According to IBM, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, much of which has been created in the last two years. This makes big data really big. Big data analysis techniques have turned humans into predictive algorithms that are more than single data points.

Machine learning and human-machine interaction have become part of a virtual circle: the more data a machine has, the more it can learn. The more it learns, the more it interacts with humans. The more it interacts with humans, the more data is created. This is what we are seeing with virtual assistance technology like Siri. The Siri interface allows a user to into the worldwide web with a natural voice system that has the ability to learn as it is used. This allows Siri to predict the user’s needs over time, and make recommendations based on past requests.

The Fast-Forward Generation

The development of the DVR has altered the way that we view commercials or, more accurately, the way we often do not view them. In a recent study of DVR users’ advertisement viewing habits, they found that a viewer was able to identify the salient points of a commercial even if it was fast-forwarded. This means that the advertisements are still valid marketing tools, but the format of the commercial can be modified to allow for the fast-forward watcher. Systems like Dish Network’s Hopper may change that even further, since they allow a viewer to start viewing in one place and use their marketing time to move to another location to resume their TV watching.

Everyone Needs a Virtual Office

The digital network has created a non-stop global commerce. We can work from home 24 hours a day, if we chose. And because we can, we expect it from everyone else. The traditional nine to five business is rapidly disappearing, making for a much more demanding time commitment from employees. Customer service and e-commerce personnel are expected to be available at the whim of the consumer, anytime, anywhere.

According to Forrester Research, nearly half of consumers ask questions online before completing a purchase. The speed of the response is crucial to the buying experience. If the retailer responds within 12 hours, there is a greater chance of completing the sale, even if the response is not favorable.

Published Wednesday, June 03, 2015 6:23 PM by David Marshall
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