Saturday, August 1, 2009

Who's in Charge?

Have you thought for a second about this; does the way we live our lives today gives technology much authority over our lives? For instance, today’s world would not be adaptable to people of a few generations ago and nowhere is this truism greater than in the world of computing. Over the years, technologies have been invented to address society's problems or to fulfil its growing desire for speed and convenience. The microchip has truly revolutionised the way in which we live and work. Technology pretty much touches all of our lives in some way and hence technology news is a vital resource that can keep us up to date with developments and changes in the 21st Century.

Take an average work day of a 'knowledge worker', someone whose main work day is around information. For example, a programmer, a stock broker, an investor, a sales person, a consultant and other office workers.

He probably has a cell phone, a laptop and an organizer. This is in addition to the land line he has on his desk. Of course he also has a desktop computer, or a laptop that he takes with him at home and on trips. On that computer, he must have email, e.g. Microsoft Outlook probably with immediate notification when a message arrives. He also has an Instant Messaging program, such as Yahoo Messenger, ICQ or Skype. He has client contacts on all of those means of communication, as well as family and friends too. He may also have other network contacts from Facebook, LinkedIn or Myspace whiles keeping updates with interested news on Twitter.

A Skype message pops up with a client asking for a quote on something. Meanwhile, his sister pops up on Yahoo Messenger asking him about how a relative is doing. An email notification comes in with a SPAM announcing mortgage rates. Another email message pops up about corporate news. His office phone rings with a colleague asking him something work related. Outlook Calendar pops up a video conference meeting reminder. His cell phone keeps beeping about an SMS text message he earlier got from a friend. He also needs to check the latest news on the web, the latest comic movie, some corporate information and newsletters.

Well, I think you get the idea now. Life is turning into a series of interrupted interruptions and leaving us the question – who is in charge? How is someone supposed to do any work or enjoy some reading/research without being interrupted? The sheer number of ways that we can be contacted here and now is always multiplying. As a result, our attention span is shorter and shorter as time goes by. The only time for peace and quiet - where you may be in charge may well be on a remote island with a book where there is no technology – not even a cell phone and internet.

© Harry Tetteh

1 comment:

  1. Yes, technology is now in charge Harry. And I don't know if I will be able to live a minute with without my phone.