"Car keys...check.  Wallet...check.  Sunglasses....check.  Smartphone....wait, we need to drive back home, I can't live without it for a day".  I actually always imagined that this accurately described me, and most people.  Well, according to a survey in the Huffington Post, it does:

-84 percent of respondents said that they could not go a single day without their cellphones.

-50 percent of Americans sleep with their phone next to them like a teddy bear or a spouse, a number that includes more than 80 percent of 18-24 year olds.

-20 percent of respondents check their phone every 10 minutes.

So, it seems that we are pretty addicted to our phones.  Now, what happens when you give someone who is addicted something else to be addicted to?

M2M has been on a tear the past few years, but its recent move into the consumer world (under the new term "IoT") is starting to add new gadgets for people to "not be able to live without".  For me, you can now add my Personal Health tracker to the list of things on my checklist to take every morning.  In addition to devices, I am starting to use M2M based applications for more and more information all of the time.

And, it is not just consumers.  Businesses who have started to embrace M2M are finding more and more ways to use this valuable information.  Once a company finds out how valuable it is to get information from remote devices, they want to increase the number of devices all of the time....and, this leads to a bit of addiction, of sorts.

Downfall of this Digital addiction

I remember a famous quote from Albert Einstein saying that he "never memorized something that he could quickly look up", as it freed his mind of useless facts.  With the widespread availability of smartphones combined with almost-everywhere Internet access, people can usually get key pieces of information on Google in seconds.  This is amazing technology and has pretty much ended any "bar bet" in a matter of seconds.  However, it has also made us lazy, especially among the young.  People are often not remembering vital pieces of information anymore....quick, how many phone numbers do you have memorized compared to 10 years ago?

The same holds true for M2M.  While the information gathered from an M2M solution is incredibly valuable, it needs to only be one tool in a company's ability to run their business.  The company needs to ensure that they still have great resources/staff available to run their business during an outage.  It is tempting for companies to look to reduce staffing costs after an M2M solution deployment, but they do need to be able to function when an inevitable issue happens.

Bottom Line

The Internet is one of the most dynamic and life-changing inventions in human history and it has opened up a great new world for many.  IoT/M2M is the latest thing that runs on the Net that could greatly enhance our life.  We just need to remember how to run without it....just like you need to have a plan in case your power goes out....which reminds me…I need to buy batteries for my flashlight.