Has mobile technology made things better or worse for us?
I was leaving work last night, and said to my colleague, "I'll see you Monday as I'm on training course tomorrow. I'll have my work mobile, just in case you need me, and monitoring my emails throughout the day."
To which she laughed. I was confused, and asked why she found that amusing.
She replied, "Well, isn't that just expected?"
Here in lies my question, or more, observation!
Have we reached the stage in modern business culture where, regardless of time and location, we are expected to be contactable? Now, I am a proud Gen Y member and, as a result, love my smart phone and social media, but it was that sudden realisation from my colleague's reaction that made me actually question it for the very first time.
I had always thought that being contactable pretty much 24-7 was a privilege that I myself had the option of choosing, and thus reaped the benefits from on my terms. However, I am starting to realise that, in today's age, the reality is that people just expect it from everyone, and if you aren't or you don’t respond immediately, they become frustrated and question why.
In a societal mind-set of 'now'.
The angry set of missed calls to your phone is no longer exclusively for the jilted lover- it's for your colleague, your manager, your friend, your mum... pretty much everyone who wants you then and there! We are in a society of immediacy at the moment, and this plays into the issue too. Everyone expects things immediately, and being contactable the moment that need arises is just a given today.
The recent statistics show that a person checks their phone around 200 times a day, which sounds like an awful lot, but when you actually consider your own habits, it suddenly becomes pretty reasonable. We all know too well that compulsion to touch the screen when it lights up, just to see if the notification is important or not.
In fact, even while at the gym for an hour where I don't take my mobile with me, I often come back to my locker to find my phone alight with voice mails asking: "Where are you?! Call me back asap..."
Convenience or burden?
Originally, the mobile phone and even the ability to work from home with Cloud technology was designed to be a convenience for the user, but that has done a complete 180 degree turn, and now become a convenience for everyone else to contact you instead. It's like walking around all day with a locator beacon on!
An interesting realisation for sure, and like anything, there are ups and downsides. Does anyone wish to weigh in?
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