If it isn’t on mobile, it doesn’t exist

For a brief couple of weeks last months, I was very active on Facebook – reading my news feed, commenting on status updates, viewing photo albums, like-ing items, accepting friend requests – all the normal stuff Facebook-ers do. And now again, I’m hardly ‘on Facebook’. What changed?

It turns out that during that time, I used my Blackberry Curve 8900 instead of my Nokia E71. And, by extension, a clever little Twitter & Facebook app named Socialscope. It’s the best app I’ve used for either Twitter or Facebook. It made ‘Facebook-ing’ on my phone a delight. When I went back to Nokia-land, there was no Socialscope – or any half-decent Facebook app for that matter – and I stopped using Facebook altogether. It turns out that even though I use a computer well over 8 hours a day, I rarely use the Facebook – or Twitter – PC website.

If it doesn’t have a great mobile site or app, I won’t use it. Whatever ‘it’ is.

I rarely checked/wrote email on Gmail until I bought Profimail for my Nokia. Or listened to much music until I purchased a 16GB microSD card for the phone and dumped all my music there. Or used Google Maps until I used it to find my way around Bombay’s western suburbs and Hyderabad’s chaos while driving.  Or read anything online regularly (the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic) until I bookmarked all of them on Opera Mini.

Jean-Louis Gassée: The smartphone isn’t just a new genre, it’s nothing less than a reboot of personal computing.

It’s true. I have no “computer time” anymore in my daily routine. Any little sliver of time can be computer time now (I just linked to the flip side of this yesterday). And it’s also helped stop hour upon wasted hour of desultory browsing.

This is a big change, but it’s crept up on me these past years – it’s only when someone asked me about my short-lived flurry of activity on Facebook that I noticed. If you have a decent smartphone with a GPRS/3G connection, look back and see if your online habits have changed. You might just be surprised.

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