Sunday, August 7, 2011

Smartphones: Good Idea/Bad Idea?

I recently read a story from the Washington Post that mentioned how marketers are drooling over a new “big-spending demographic” – American moms.

These moms are defined as those women who were 18-to-34 years old a decade ago and who “captured the hearts of Madison Avenue marketing executives with their voracious consumer appetites.”

Older now, many of these women are in charge of their families’ finances.

These “power moms,” as Nielson Research has dubbed them, grew up with cell phones attached to their heads and have embraced smartphones with relish. They are enthusiastic about technology and love all the social media that enables them to share information and photos of their families and friends.

Just in case you are wondering how the power moms match up with their male counterparts, during the first quarter of this year, power moms’ smartphone purchases increased 132 percent, while men increased their purchases by 121 percent.

This is music to the ears of advertisers and marketers, who now see these rabid-consumer moms as prime targets that they can reach in new and expeditious ways.

From my perspective, smartphones have become a third arm (or second brain) for these power moms. They text, they compare prices and they buy with their smartphones. They shoot photos and email/text them to friends and family. Smartphones provide directions and favorite music. Power moms even can visit their child’s classroom via smartphone, the school’s Web site and a kid-cam.

It occurred to me that there are probably a lot of nurses in this power-mom demographic who wouldn’t know what to do without their smartphones. Besides having that direct connection to their social networks, nurses can download numerous medical/professional apps. Some of the most popular, according to, are Medscape, the New England Journal of Medicine, Epocrates and Living Medical Textbooks.

Smartphones also must help nurses manage their busy personal lives.
They can stay in touch with the family members, shop online during their lunch break, plan a vacation, and play Angry Birds to relieve tension or take a quick mental vacation.

I must wonder, though, if using a smartphone ever gets in the way of a nurse’s work and professional obligations.

Does your work get interrupted with personal calls?

How do you use your smartphone? Do you consider having a smartphone an advantage or disadvantage, or is it just the way things are?

Does your workplace have rules about using smartphones during work hours? Are you ever tempted to go online at work when you shouldn’t?

Tell us about it.

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