July 2, 2011
Today’s society is so convenient. Sort of. We have access to all kinds of information at all times. Which is great, sometimes. For instance, my little sister is applying to college this year. She is obsessed with “stats” about the various colleges she’s applying to. Last weekend, we were walking around the Stonehill College campus and she wanted to know the percentage of international students that attend the school. She pulled out her iPhone, looked up Stonehill.edu, and she had the statistic in under a minute. In that instance, technology is great. Just five minutes later I received an email from work about a big deadline that had been shifted a week earlier. It was Saturday afternoon. I was overcome with stress. In that moment, access to information via advanced technology – not so great. While technological advances such as email, cell phones, and mobile web have made many mundane tasks easier, more efficient, and more productive, they have also managed to make many of us busier. Because we are accessible at all times, we never get to “turn off.” We are working even when we’re not at work. We are paying bills at the dinner table, conducting business on an airplane, and buying plane tickets at our kids’ soccer games. We have become more productive and less present. What is the point of increased productivity if we only fill the extra seconds with extra work? Don’t get me wrong, having access to information on the go is great for so many reasons – but it can also be really rude, and cause us more stress and headache than it saves. Take email, for instance. My coworkers are constantly emailing back and forth, and little details inevitably get lost in the shuffle. We sit just a few feet from each other – wouldn’t it be more efficient to actually talk to each other? Technology can be great – but let’s not get carried away. Use your technology responsibly!