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Are You Like 1 in 5 Americans? I Hope Not…


I read recently that according to Pew Research Center 1 in 5 Americans go online “almost constantly.” Can you say addiction? 1 in 5. 20%. That’s a big number of people constantly plugging in to something other than what they are doing, where they are, or the current company they are keeping.


We are becoming more and more of an isolationist society that feels connected. Oxymoron, but true. It seems no one wants to just focus and have a good face to face conversation anymore. I heard author and very successful entrepreneur Jack Stack say “I can’t get my grandkids to answer the phone, but send a text and I get a reply right back.”


Everyone wants to be connected to someone or somewhere other than where they are now. The present has been completely overshadowed by the “online-almost constantly.” Perhaps this is why it’s so hard to get good service anymore?


My family and extended family (over 15 in total) recently visited a restaurant and ordered food and drinks. When the bill came we noticed that 3 of us were overcharged for our drinks. We all had ordered a specialty drink that was hand-written over another drink previously printed on the menu. We brought it to the attention of the waitress who notified her manager.


The manager, a young woman who couldn’t have been older than 30, came to talk to us. She proceeded to tell us they changed the drink but forgot to change the price. My thought immediately is “and your point is? How is that my fault?” No offer of adjusting the price; just an explanation. We pressed. Our family always loves a good fight.


Finally, she relented and said well I guess I could adjust the price if you really want me to. Really. You guess you could? Did we perhaps disturb your Pokemon Go Facebook experience so much that you had to actually think on the job? We were an inconvenience instead of a valued customer. I won’t be going back.


I can’t prove it, but my guess is she was “almost constantly” wanting to get back to her phone and see the latest post about her girlfriends and their emotional states or emojis of discontentedness with their current relationship. Give me a break. Customer lost. Now I tell others about my experience. This the cause of “almost constantly” going online and letting that attitude show instead of serving your customer and making us more than happy to refer more and return again.


This 20% or 1 in 5 stat doesn’t surprise me at all. I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise the motor vehicle and parts manufacturers either – America’s largest employers according to the US Department of Labor – who now seem to be recalling vehicles faster than they can make them. Perhaps too many line workers and especially quality control workers are going online “almost constantly” when they should be making sure the bolt is tight. I guess I better be careful who I criticize or they might recall this article too.


So what does this mean for little ol you and me?


Well it means we have to keep our heads out of the “almost constantly” online zone and keep working on things that “always constantly” provide more revenue and value to our clients. It’s the heartbeat of your business and it’s the only way to make sure your customers leave ready to brag and share instead of be disgruntled and write articles like I’m doing now.


Make sure your days are laser focused and driven towards your main goals. It’s okay to take a break every now and then, but make sure your business isn’t being driven by the 1 in 5 addicted to something other than what’s here and now.


Until next month, keep your head up and out of the online world and “always constantly” producing value!