Welcome to the Content Jungle

Information is more easily shared now than ever before, but there is a silent burden that has emerged as a result.

Smartphones, the 24/7 news cycle and a never-ending social media feed. Sure, information is more easily shared now than ever before, but there is a silent burden that has emerged as a result.

It all started with our society’s evolution into the “experience economy,” where we started spending less money on things and more on experiences. Instagram in particular became the fuel to propel this economy with people showcasing the picture-perfect experiences they were having, while brands responded with highly instagrammable experiential and immersive experiences. 

As people’s needs to curate the best experiences grew, so did something else: their need to find the best experiences from sources they trust. The 24/7 content machine, both online and in real life, has become a significant source of recommendations and experiences. However, the impulse to select from this content jungle and remember those things at the right moment has become a time-intensive chore. 

Given the lack of a place to put all of these things people were finding but wanted to experience later, they started to create work-arounds and coping strategies. Compell’d conducted its own research related to these issues and identified over 15 ways^ that people keep track of these daily discoveries. A snapshot of the data is below. Which ones do you relate to?

Percentage of Respondents Selecting Each Coping Strategy

The Compell’d research clearly highlights the new consumer behavior of using the phone as a “want-to-do later” capture tool. Photos and screenshots took the clear lead with nearly 70%^ of people using these as their main coping strategy. What’s more, nearly 40%† of respondents take at least one photo or screenshot every single day. For those that make professional recommendations, like influencers or tastemakers, these numbers are even larger. I’ll make my own confession right here, that I personally have over 2,700 screenshots of forgotten things I want(ed) to do.

From the data, we identified that the average person uses 3.6^ of the saving strategies mentioned above, leading to fragmented and inefficient saving of these desirable experiences---typically resulting in wasted time re-looking, forgetting and settling for less exciting experiences. 

On average, people only complete about 28%† of the screenshots of things they wanted to do later because they lose and forget the content (typically in a sea of selfies, babies and dogs!). Even more concerning is that less than 11%† of people report they are able to complete most or all of their screenshot want-to-do’s.

Percentage of Respondents Selecting Each Emotion After Forgetting or Losing Something They Saved and Wanted To Do Later

When understanding how people felt about missing out on these intended experiences, they report feeling annoyed, frustrated, disappointed, like they’re missing out, stressed and that they are settling. Read: silent burden. We’re all doing this and feeling these sentiments in moments and the worst part is, we don’t realize it.

Now that we’re in 2020, it’s hard to imagine that we have accepted this silent burden as a norm. We have access to all of this technology, and we’re still saving things all over the place and then forgetting---even in an era where we care so much about having the best experiences. With the start of the new year, many of us think about resolutions. Why not resolve to focus on the experiences themselves and lose all the unpleasant work required to make it happen? Especially when all that unpleasant work isn’t working, anyway. At Compell’d, our research and passion for helping people experience the things that excite them led us to build technology to solve this silent burden we all face. Our only resolution in 2020 is to give everyone access to a new and more effective way.

Much health and happiness to you and your loved ones in 2020,

Shruti Joshi


^ Compell’d Research, conducted via SurveyMonkey Audience. “Your Want To Do’s” survey conducted in July, 2019 with 461 respondents aged 59 and younger. 

† Compell’d Research, conducted via SurveyMonkey Audience and SurveyMonkey web link collector. “Finding and researching what you want to do” survey conducted in September, 2019 with 164 respondent aged 59 and younger.

December 11, 2019

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