I had family visiting this past weekend which meant we got to revisit one of my new favorite barbecue places in town – Char Bar (best burnt ends in the city, sorry Gates). It didn’t dawn on us at the time, but we were hitting the Westport area right as the Snake Saturday parade ended, so it was crowded. After finally getting seated and placing our orders, the five of us sat and happily chatted about all manner of topics. Soon, a large group of 15 or so millennials were seated at the two tables closest to us. I didn’t think much about them until a short while later when I realized most of them had their heads down looking at their phones. At most, there were four people engaged in a conversation at a given time. I turned back to our table and realized no one was checking their phone or even had it sitting on the table.
I can’t speak for the others in our party, but I don’t think the absence of smart phones was a conscious decision. We were simply more interested in talking to one another and it didn’t seem as though anyone even missed their phone. Regardless, people with their heads buried in their phones is hardly an earth-shattering development. Social networks have been growing by leaps & bounds as we find new ways to “connect to one another”. What I found surprising are the number of users. According to Statista, as of January 2016, Facebook is the first to break the billion registered accounts (1.55B) mark. I figured Twitter would be in the top 5, but they landed in the 9th position. I had no idea that WhatsApp was in 2nd with 900M users. I’m curious how much crossover there is between the social networks and will do some digging later.
With that kind of volume, this seems all too realistic.