The Connected Age Has Brought Change, But is it All Good?
Instantaneous world news
Constant Social Media account connection and updates (not a fan of this one)
Directions at the touch of a button
GPS tracking of loved ones
Endless entertainment options
24/7 email and text connectivity
What happens when you lose connectivity?
A few weeks ago, the unimaginable happened – a very brief disruption in connectivity, a broken fiber optic cable less than 100 ft from our office. No VOIP phones, no internet, no email, no Wi-Fi and yet we managed to survive. (Truth be told, we did have mobile connectivity as well as the ability to work remotely so technically we were still connected but the idea of any disruption in connectivity is almost unfathomable today.)
That broken fiber optic cable made me think, and poke around a little….
PC sales posted their fastest growth in 20 years during the first quarter of 2021 as consumers and businesses bought new laptops and desktops for remote work and learning. In 2021, PC sales grew about 15%, returning to 2012 levels after nearly a decade of slow or no growth. Desktop usage has been trending down for years while mobile connectivity has increased exponentially over the last decade.
The first handheld mobile phone, a handset weighing almost four and a half pounds, was demonstrated in 1973. In 1979 the first cellular network in the world launched in Japan. The first true smartphone made its appearance in the world in 1992. Smartphones comprise about 78% of total mobile phone sales.
American adults spend an average of 5.5 hours daily on their cell phones in 2022.
Enter nomophobia – a psychological condition, fear of not having mobile connectivity.
Over 400 million people are addicted to the internet worldwide. 12.4% of internet users regularly spend more time online than planned. About 31% of online users prefer spending time online than with friends and family. 77% of adults in the US access the internet every day.
Now, a few things to think about relative to all of this:
The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
Many of us suffer from a multitude of negative results of overexposure to tech. Considering the possible negative effects of this on our own health and safety now factor in the possible professional negative impact. See the list of 11 Adverse Effects of Social Media on Employees.
“The Only Constant in Life Is Change.”- Heraclitus. Change can be a good thing. If there was no drive for advancement we’d still be in awe of fire and the wheel, but like everything even connectivity, is good in moderation.
Can you remember passing time before smartphone was the word of the day? Put your device(s) down once in a while and “smell the roses”. Have some actual human interaction, a conversation.
Read a book!