A few months ago I was on a weekend cabin trip get-away with a bunch of guys and I noticed something different that happened. Three of the guys brought their iPads and if this had been a trip with the girls along, then there would have been instant protests and complaints about spending the weekend online. But since it was just a boy’s weekend, then playing with electronic toys was perfectly acceptable behavior. OK, so were burping, farting and authentic expressions of profanity, but there is a reason why the guys have to get away from time to time. What was different was the use of iPads in this social situation. They became a natural part of the discussions and the activities. In the middle of a conversation, someone would pick up an iPad, lookup a fact, a quote or a definition on Google or YouTube and then share it with the others. We debated European history details but Wikipedia got the final say. The format of the iPad (and the little table mount cover) made it easy for the other 5 guys to crowd around the pad to watch a funny YouTube video (extreme base jumping & surfing monster waves), watch a music video or to just look at photos from a recent trip to Mexico. With 4 iPads and 8 guys it almost ended up being like a competition. Not dualing banjos, but dualing iPads. A creative entrepreneur game programmer should design something to capitalize on this.
How much time do you spend online alone?
Like most people I am sure that you spend lots of time online, but how much of this is really a group experience? Facebook. LinkedIn and Twitter all allow you to connect with groups, but most of the time you are sitting at your computer screen alone. How often have you been sitting together with a group of people where several are online and at the same time all are participating in an interesting group discussion? My wife says that men cannot do two things at once, but here I must protest. We men can handle our gadgets and still follow a conversation. So there! Finally we have found a social justification for nerdy male behavior!
A new online use – GroupSurfing
When was the last time you surfed the internet with a group? Call it a GroupSurf. I have used devices like an AppleTV to surf the internet while watching TV, but this is different. With multiple people surfing the internet at the same time and all contributing to a live group discussion, I think this is a new kind of internet use. Do you know about any applications that are designed for this type of experience? If so, I would like to hear from you. Leave a comment below. If you are a programmer and have an application to promote that works like this, please contact me.
Understanding men by understanding their gadgets
In the book Boys and Their Toys, author Bill Adler explains that men use toys to assert their independence and freedom, relieve stress, connect to their lost childhood, and even express their nurturing side (without having to admit it). OK, “nurturing” might be taking this a bit too far, but just face it. We men are different and how we use our iPads will also be different. Next time you go to a party, take along your iPad along and don’t be ashamed to whip it out in front of everyone. You might be surprised at how much fun you have and what sort of a positive experience you create (at least with the guys).
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Contact me to discuss Executive Coaching, Group Facilitation and Management for Hire services for technology companies. You can learn more at www.ricksalmon.com , www.xelerator.com and at www.e-unlimited.com. Rick Salmon is an energetic entrepreneur who lives in Norway and believes that European startup companies can succeed and grow quickly if only they get the proper help and assistance. Please join the discussion and leave your comments. Subscribe to this newsletter/blog to receive frequent updates and tips.