Constant connectivity – the good outweighs the bad

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I had coffee with a friend last week while passing through Austin. About 90 seconds after I dropped him back at his office, I heard a strange buzzing sound in my car. After realizing that for once it was not another issue with my PAX tires, I looked for the source of the offending noise and found a phone in my passenger seat. “No name” was calling, so I figured I should answer. Sure enough, my friend joked about how happy he was to discover his loss before I got back to Denver.

This left me wondering, could I ever lose my cell phone again? I do not feel particularly attached to it, especially compared with other people I know, and it is often on silent so as not to interrupt my meetings, social engagements or thinking time, but I have to admit I look at it every single time I move between locations. When I venture out without it, I feel really risky, like I’m not wearing my seatbelt. When I’m waiting for someone, standing in line, or stopped at a stoplight, I’m always entertained by catch-ups with friends or the news.

Jim’s blog last week on our dependence on connectivity made me realize how much I love having so much information easily accessible from my phone and computer, but how regularly I turn off incoming distractions. I think a lot of people have evolved in their use of technology so that they aren’t interrupted unproductively. The best future innovations will be ones that support this evolution. Facebook and Twitter are great examples because they allow for significant connectivity without the downside distractions. I love it – I wouldn’t want to go back and I’m excited to see what’s next.

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