23 September 2011

Put Down Your Phone!

All of our lives rely on technology. We can't live without it. And don't even try to say "Oh no! I hate the way technology rules our lives!" You love it. If your phone goes a whole hour without going bu-deep for a text/tweet/facebook/email, you start to fidget and worry: "Why doesn't anyone want to be in touch with me?" Don't deny it. We're all guilty.

With that said, I'd like to now say: I hate the way technology rules our lives!

From here

Recently I was chatting with a friend who works for a big international accounting firm. She is debating now whether or not she ought to get a smart phone on the company. At first I was a bit taken aback. What do you mean debating? Everyone has a smart phone! Especially every high level professional. It seemed that this decision was like ten years too late. Today the answer is obvious: smart phone = happiness. Right? Apparently not.

She explained to me that the pros are the usual; clients can be in touch at any time, she can work while she's not at work, etc (these don't always sound like pros, but you know what I mean). But the cons are things I hadn't thought about before. The biggest being confidentiality. Naturally, working with high profile clients she is privy to some accounting information that really ought not to be public knowledge. All of her correspondence about client portfolios is strictly confidential. This means that even having her work-phone on her at a social event is a big risk.

I know that since half the population all have identical Blackberrys, I've many a time picked up the wrong phone thinking it is mine. But when your phone holds sensitive information this is a big deal. She said that even if her phone was lost or stolen she would be liable for any information that was potentially stolen. So she's torn. On the one hand her bosses and clients want to be able to be in touch 24/7, and she works hard and wants to make them happy. On the other hand, there is this massive risk of breaking confidentiality agreements and screwing up her entire career. This makes me hate technology!

Why do we all have the SAME phone?
From here

Another friend of mine is currently on a rant and rave about the total lack of real social interaction. And here she has got a real point! She is (as am I) fed up with trying to talk to people in person while they refuse to tear their eyes away from Angry Birds. Fed up with trying to organise a coffee date with a friend who is more concerned with boosting their Bbm contact list into triple digits than actually having a meaningful conversation with someone. I've got to admit that I've got a couple of ex-friends that landed in that ex-category not because they are bad people, but because I've sat through entire dinners where no more than three words were said to me, the person sitting in front of them, because there was a continuous stream of texting that was WAY more important.

This woman should have never been given a microphone
From here


Many of us find these things annoying, and more of us are guilty than we think. I know I am guilty even though I try not to be. Sometimes I have to remind myself: Put the phone down. Turn off the computer. Whatever it is, it can wait. The irony is that the above conversation is happening over facebook, and I'm sitting at my computer ranting away. Does this make me a hypocrite? Maybe. Truly I love the internet. I love Facebook. I love my Blackberry. I couldn't live without Google or email or blogs. Ultimately, I think we all need these things in our lives. But we also need to remember that they can be great and awful at the same time.


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