Friday, September 29, 2006

The Technology of Time

In our wireless world we can communicate with anyone, anywhere and at anytime. This has been a boon to big business, but at the cost of something priceless – time.

The working day used to be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. These days, even when people get home they are still working – checking email, hammering out reports on their BlackBerry, participating in teleconference calls.

Technology was supposed to make the mammoth amounts of paper we use disappear. Instead, technology has made that fine line between work and home life disappear.

I’ve been out with friends on a Saturday night, coming out from a movie, and I’ve seen people busily typing away on their BlackBerrys.

I’ve been in meetings where others have sat in on a meeting – supposedly to add value to the discussions – but they were distracted by calls on their cell, emails on their BlackBerry, or even pages on their pager.

Where do we draw the line?

I could be taking a much needed bathroom break, only to hear some guy in the next stall talking on his cell phone.

Bathrooms are sacred places. Doing one’s “business” ought to be at the very least, one of the last vestiges of private time left.

When technology invades our time to pee, something is wrong, and it isn’t the technology.

Those who create – no invent – technology, are amazing people. They really are – who would have thought five or even 10-years ago that we’d be able to send and receive messages to someone while they took a crap?

I think the problem lies in those that use technology too much. You shouldn’t be allowed to take calls on your cell phone while pissing, hammer out emails on your BlackBerry while out with friends, or any of the other things people do that are work related in their free time.

When technical writers create documentation about how to use technology, they should also be telling us how NOT to use the technology. Maybe a list of acceptable times and places to use the technology and a list of unacceptable times and places.

Though really we ought to know better. What’s next – holding conference calls while having sex?

“What was that?”

“Ohhhh Ohhhh!”


Yeah. Right.

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