This article by Luke Wroblewski got me thinking that the cellphone of the 2010’s is the digital equivalent infrastructure to the brick and mortar shopping mall of the 80’s.
In the 80’s we went to the mall to:
- Socialize with friends,
- Play games at the arcade, and
- Shop for things we wanted.
The mall was the social center of a young persons life in the 80’s. You met your friends there, hung out, and much of your social life centered on who you were going there with or meeting at the mall. Many people had relationship started or ended at the Food Court at the mall (at least you did if you were popular – not that I was, but that was the societal norm).
The Arcade was the entertainment hub of the mall. Most people got a few bucks and changed it to quarters and entertained themselves by playing or watching their friends play video games or acquire bouncy balls or other trinkets through tickets earned playing skee-ball.
We also shopped for clothes, toys, and other essentials at the mall.
In the 2000’s and beyond the cellphone has become that hub of our social and shopping interaction. Facebook itself could probably be seen as the new digital mall in the fact that all of the 3 items above other than shopping are done there.
Maybe Mark Zuckerberg needs to get on that Facebook Gifts thing and expand it out a true full on shopping experience.