- The desire to be connected 24/7 may change in 2012. You almost never have downtime anymore, and people are beginning to notice that’s not all good. Sure, if you are waiting in line at the post office or bank (something today’s kindergartners won’t do by the time they hit college), you’ll be able to check email, play an app, text your friend, or make a call. But this lack of downtime may negatively impact our ability to concentrate and avoid distractions at work and at home. The recognition that we actually need to disconnect, that we need downtime, is likely to generate coverage this year. Already a handful of companies have limited email, both during the day and after hours – and we think more will join those ranks. We also think the concept of going on vacation without access to email or cell will become more of a status symbol because it now takes a lot of money to disconnect yourself from your regular workday.
In our list of ongoing trends that we update annually, we've mentioned the ongoing need to disconnect. That need may be more pronounced than ever as younger-and-younger kids own their own devices -- and as more-and-more parents can't get their kids off their screens.
Screen use and children, including how they socialize, how they interact with peers and grownups, how they experience their environments, will be a growing area of tension for parents -- at least when they look up from their own devices. (And we're all guilty of that.)
We even once said that where it was once only the wealthy who could stay connected wherever they traveled, that soon, it would be a luxury to travel and not be connected. That's borne out but an article in today's Wall St. Journal: "Resorts Promise Families the Perfect Getaway—From Electronics: Looking for a technology detox, more parents book vacations at family resorts touting limited Wi-Fi." Check it out.