This episode starts with a queue to get into a pub one Friday evening. Every person around was gazing into their smartphones. With the pub being in the centre of a business district, I imagined that many of them would be finishing up the last email till I ended up speaking to couple of folks in the line with in my ‘Market Research’ avatar.
The lets-finish-the week-with-a-drink folks in the line were mostly browsing through facebook, checking on where their friends were travelling, figuring out which Bollywood couple broke up, playing level 82 of a Candy centric game – basically indulging in fleeting escapism.
In today’s world, it is easy to indulge in a mild form of escapism when we have access to myriad entertainment at our fingertips. Smartphones have enabled users to get transported to another world. Additionally with mobile content formats being succinct and snacky in size, a user can move from one world to the next quite swiftly.
At one moment the person can be reliving the life of his favourite super hero via a 30 second trailer and in the next be transported to the beaches of Goa via the pics his pal has posted. Smartphones have embodied entertainment as a form of escapism and content on the smartphone has given Escapism a jet pack.
Why is This (milder form of) Escapism Happening
The Struggle & Effort: The daily commute in the traffic and long work hours along makes one want to browse mindlessly. Additionally, responsibilities and personal expectations from life makes one want to forget it all and get transported elsewhere. News apps, facebook and twitter provide an endless stream of stories get the user hooked.
Boredom: With monotony kicking in daily life one feels the need for excitement, variety and instant gratification. Games and short form videos have helped alleviate boredom for the person with little time at hand.