How many megabytes did you use today?

With the proliferation of mobile devices used by today’s consumers, the amount of data that is accessed and downloaded each day can reach staggering proportions. After all, do we really know how much data we use each day on our mobile devices? Probably not. And even if we knew, what would we do about it, and what does it mean to marketing today?

The New York Times recently interviewed people on the streets of Manhattan, asking them “What is a megabyte?” Their answers indicate just how little consumers know about their daily data access on smart phones and mobile devices. (Hint – there are 1,000 bytes in a kilobyte; 1,000 kilobytes in a megabyte; and 1,000 megabytes in a gigabyte.)

Group Activities and Discussion Questions: 

  1. Before shwoing this video, ask students to define a megabyte.
  2. How many megabytes do students think they dounload every day?
  3. How many megabytes are in a movie, song, email, website, document?
  4. Now, show the video clip from the New York Times:  http://video.nytimes.com/video/2012/04/08/technology/100000001476356/what-is-a-megabyte-.html
  5. Expand the discussion and have students explore the complexity of this topic.  Have students list the variety of (1) phones, (2) providers, and (3) service plans.  Discuss the different plans and how they are marketed? Are data limits easy to find? Why not?
  6. Ask students if they know the amount of data covered by their cell plans.
  7. What are the implications to marketing when using, or selling, multi-media services and products?

Source: New York Times, 4/19/12


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