What I’m thinking about today:

1.VW doesn’t just make cool cars; they make cool apps.
2.Welcome to your favorite restaurant, would you like the mobile or non-mobile section?
3.Want 2.5 hours of free time? Lose the mobile.
4.MTV turns 32 – so here are 32 memorable videos to commemorate the occasion.

1. You’ve heard of ‘Sign then drive’ from VW? Now there is ‘download the app then drive’. VW is taking a tip from apps that track your physical fitness/movement to help improve your health. Their new app – SmileDrive – allows you, as the driver, to:
-Keep track of the route driven and time taken during any given journey
-The weather
-Stickers (badges) for long drives, passing a car that looks like yours, or hitting the road on a holiday.

Don’t own a Volkswagen? I guess that’s ok (but you really need to reconsider) but you can use the app with any car. And if you use it you can create special pages through Google+, which automatically updates with photos and posts that you upload from the road.

Why wait for a third party to provide you with driver data and preferences when you can create your own? We’re reading a lot about companies becoming their own publisher but the VW app – and the strategy behind it – brings this approach to life and to another level, perfectly. You can provide restaurants, gas stations, traveling must-haves (coffees, music/entertainment, etc.) a great opportunity to advertise / partner with you in exchange for shared access to user data (to only those users who approve it, of course). We are going to see a lot more tools like this.

2. Do you dine with hundreds of your friends every night? I was reading a great blog on the Edelman site about a new type of ‘being connected’. It’s a quick read and worth it. Basically it  covers how we are connected to our smart devices, which is a topic I have a real interest in, especially when you consider the psychological changes this behavior is triggering. As the blog says, since when did a phone become cutlery? Leave it off the table. But, if we leave it off the table who will we eat with?

Yea, that’s right, I said who. Consider the fact that in the past month 32% of consumers have texted or used social media while eating. The phone has become as permanent a fixture on the table as salt and pepper. Wireless has become standard; look for yourself next time you’re at a restaurant and you’ll see the wireless code on the same page as the appetizers.

(Image: Michael McCauley)

But we do everything but cut our steak with our phones – we do text but we also take pictures of said steak, that cool martini, a logo, a menu, the weird guy siting at the table by himself, checking his Facebook status (hint: if you don’t see someone doing this, you’re probably that person…just saying). I wrote about noise pollution a few months back when I saw that planes would eventually allow all devices for the whole flight. The same thing applies here. Just like smokers were put into their own section – and then outside – what if we see the same thing for mobiles? A section where you can’t have your phone on the table – no alerts, no phone calls, no taking pictures, no games. You might dismiss the thought but think about it. Is it that far-fetched? Does it bother you?

3. Just in case you still think mobile dependency (addiction) is a passing fad, right on cue there is an article in Digiday that gives us the 12 Must-Know Facts about Mobile Video. In that article is this dose of reality:

US adults will spend two hours and 21 minutes per day with mobile, surpassing time spent online. Digital overall (mobile and online) is set to surpass TV in time spent with media this year for the first time ever, with digital video leading the charge.

My question to that stat: what were we doing with the two hours and 21 minutes a day before? Talking to people in person? Reading an actual newspaper? Reading a real book?

4. MTV turned 32 last week. You know, that 32 year-old who has his own business, lives with his parents but still parties at the coolest clubs and buys beer for the underage kids.

To commemorate it, Mashable put together a list of the 32 most unforgettable videos. And I have to say, if you sat down and challenged yourself to do the same, most of yours would be on here. For the most part it took me back to my high school years as a lot of the biggest videos to hit came out in the early/mid-90s – including maybe one of the top three of all time in Smells Like Teen Spirit. So, to that point, maybe I’m biased but I can’t believe you have a list without Nuthin But a G Thang, the best rap video ever. A few other omissions that surprised me:

Pearl Jam: Jeremy
Metallica: Unforgiven
LL Cool J: Mama Said Knock You Out
TLC: Waterfalls
Spice Girls: Wannabe
Blind Melon: No Rain
Aerosmith: Cryin
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Under the Bridge

What’s missing, in your opinion?