Our mobile-addicted society can seem like a mixed bag for humanity. We all know the annoyance of trying to chat with a friend while they’re checking Facebook or that lady three rows up incessantly texting throughout the movie.

And thanks to our trusty portable devices, we've also been rescued time and time again from getting lost in a new city, choosing the wrong Mexican restaurant or booking a romantic night at a flea-infested motel.

Whether we embrace our handheld sidekicks or yearn for the days when leaving your house meant being nearly unreachable, there's no denying that the world is becoming more mobile every day as we continue consuming, gathering and sharing information about every aspect of our lives from our touchscreens.

It's no surprise that the younger Americans are the most fervent users of mobile technology with 97% of Millenials (aged 25-34) and 96% of Gen Xers (aged 35-44) owning a smartphone. However, the older generations are quickly adapting to this modern landscape with 80% of Americans aged 55-64 and 68% over 65 now connected with their own mobile machines. 

What may be surprising is how quickly and thoroughly social media has rooted itself into the mobile universe. Saying you're online and on social media is becoming one and the same with nearly 70% of internet users boasting a social profile. With 60% of Facebook users expected to solely login via mobile by 2020, ignoring the rising tide is only going to mean missed opportunities for your organization. 

Mobile Use Stats

Feast your eyes on these stats from a 2016 Pew Internet Study to see the numbers of how ingrained mobile use has become:

Mobile Device Use

  • 95% of American adults have a cell phone
  • 77% of American adults have a smartphone
  • 97% of millennials have a smartphone (Nielsen)
  • 51% of cell owners own an Android; 43% own an iPhone; 1% own a Blackberry
  • 51% of Americans ages 16 and older own a tablet computer
  • 50% of time on mobile is spent on social media, messaging and entertainment apps
  • The average American spends about four hours per day on mobile
  • 53% of Facebook users are over 35

So What Does This Means for You

If your organization wants to stay relevant, creating and maintaining a responsive, mobile-friendly design is not an option. It's a necessity. 

This is really important. If your website and email templates are not mobile-friendly, you are likely frustrating many of your visitors. They have to squint to see your content. Or pinch and expand the page, which makes it easier to read, but much harder to navigate. In most cases, this means a very short visit. If you're lucky, they'll clumsily thumb through your site to get what they're looking for and leave ASAP. In most cases, they'll simply leave at the first sign of difficulty and seek out a mobile-friendly competitor. 

In light of these trends, responsive design has emerged as the chosen strategy for ensuring that every visitor to your website or email has an optimal experience. 

It also signals that the days of ignoring social media's rise is over. Now, don't drop everything to start creating profiles on every platform from Facebook to Waze. However, with ad spending up 65% on social media, it is essential that organizations develop a strategic plan that works for them.

Learn more about our best practices for Responsive Design and Social Media.