Mobile phones and digital devices are changing the way we socialise. As digital consumers, we have started to form ‘tribes’ based on our learned mobile device behaviours. According to a study conducted by Dr Massimiliano Mollona, a social anthropologist at Goldsmiths, University of London, consumers fall into one of the three tribes: Cyborgs, Centaurs and Space Cowboys.
This ‘tribe’ tend to be the most connected of the bunch, with their hands constantly attached to their smartphone regardless of the situation. Those who fit into this avatar embrace connectivity in all aspects of their life, including professional and personal spheres, across all devices and places, and are the most willing to pay a premium for services.
These on the other hand, have placed fixed boundaries on their mobile device use with clear-cut divides between personal and technological, and professional and social use. Centaurs will often have one device for work and another for their personal use.
These are the technological nomads of the digital divide. “These creatures are individualistic and unpredictable and often switch devices and providers for both technological and economic reasons,” says Mollona. The compulsion to stay connected through our mobile devices will only increase in the future. More than 70 per cent of the respondents expect to do more with their mobile device in the future; over two thirds can’t wait to connect their device to their TVs and cars, while 54 per cent want to have the ability to access their content from any device. The survey was conducted with a sample size of 4,700 consumers of various age groups in 14 countries, spanning North and South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.