The Connected Age

We are living in an age of connectivity. Regardless of where we go or what we do, being connected is only the press of a button away. If someone needs to transfer information to us, they only have to choose by which device to do so. We can be called, chatted, emailed, texted and even Skyped. This change in communication has proven beneficial in many respects, though in many ways excessive communication can be negative. What does it mean to live in a world of almost constant connectivity? Read on for a few of the pros and cons of always being available.

The Pros

  • Being connected means increased safety. There was a day when breaking down on a dark highway was a life or death situation. Now, thanks to high range cell phones, help is only a phone call away. Doctor appointments can be made online, routes to emergency rooms can be Googled and there’s an app for figuring out minor ailments.
  • Connectivity allows you to stay in touch. Relationships can be managed remotely. With webcams, email, and texting you can stay in contact with loved ones, even at a distance. Consider the benefit felt by a soldier serving over seas by seeing their loved ones via Skype video chatting.
  • Technology has made telecommuting an accessible reality. Thanks to cloud computing, working at home is easy and practical. This allows workers on maternity or sick leave to maintain a valuable level of productivity.

The Cons

  • Connectivity is hard to turn off. We all appreciate being in touch, but sometimes we need alone time. Being constantly obtainable makes disconnecting extremely difficult. This adversely affects our ability to stop and smell the roses and enjoy our surroundings.
  • The ability to take your office with you also means you are always at the office. While redefining the workday and allowing for more flexible hours can increase productivity, it can also make workers over-work. It’s important to keep your private and professional lives separate, which is increasingly difficult thanks to increased connectivity.
  • Being connected can cause us to detach from those around us. Staying in touch with people who are miles away can cause us to neglect those close to us. We may be communicating with our friends overseas, but we might also be negelecting our friends in the very same room.

As with every cultural shift, dealing with constant connectivity is a matter of moderation. Finding the balance between too little and too much is paramount when determining which degree of connectivity you are most comfortable with.

For more information on connectivity, as well as an interesting look at unplugging yourself from technology, take a look at this article

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