Quelle horreur! – my iphone battery died just as I entered my 20 minute Fast Ferry ride home last Wednesday at 6.15pm. I usually use this time to catch up on emails and I felt at a loss about what to do with this time. I could have enjoyed the gorgeous view of Sydney Harbour. Instead, I thought it opportune to observe my fellow travellers, to answer the question, “what do other people do on their journey home”.
My data sample was 50 people.
- 80% were on a mobile device
- 2% were on computers
- 2% were on tablets
- 14% were reading printed materials (<1% on kindle)
- Fewer than 1% were in conversation, which was double those that were looking out the window and those that were writing on notepads or in notebooks
Of those on their mobile device:
- 9% were on the phone/talking
- 29% had earphones in/watching a screen with some occasionally smiling/laughing – I presume they were watching entertainment or perhaps a Ted Talk – they were not engaging with their screen
- 29% were scrolling – quick-flicking through their phone feeds (I am guessing most were social but they could have been flicking fasts through newsfeeds or emails)
- 1% had earphones in and just were listening to something, perhaps music
- the balance, also just under 30%, were engaged in some form – e.g. texting, typing, engaging with the content they were viewing.
It may have looked a bit creepy with my notepad, pen, and staring at people whilst jotting notes and creating tallies – but I was struck by the enabling power of mobile technology.
The question for me is whether we are using this time most effectively, or just conveniently.
I like to plan my day and use the morning before I leave for work to prioritise what I need to do (including what I want to do on my trip in). But I am definitely more lax just catching up on emails on the way home.
How do you use your travel time? Purposively?
This article is also published on LinkedIn.