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What about constantly being connected? Good or Bad?

 
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I am used to the days were you could take a walk, and nobody could reach you. I miss that.

http://www.danielclough.com/screw-being-constantly-connected/

What do you think of the above? Apart from the disadvantages being mentioned there, I also have trouble with the obligation of being connected, both socially and in business. You can switch your mobile off, but both coworkers and family get angry with you. I am totally not into smart phones. Constantly being connected gets on my nerves.
 
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I think it would be more useful to learn how to control one's own behavior (and not go online) than to sever the cord and make it impossible to even handle email, for example, in those times where you actually want to do that. The guy acknowledges that option, but if that route doesn't work for him, then good for him for taken the radical approach.

As to the "obligation", that's something where everyone needs to find their personal comfort zone. If people are consistently reachable, there'll be an expectation of reachability. If people consistently aren't reachable (maybe because they turn the volume off), then there'll be no expectation of reachability - which others may or may not find convenient. In a personal setting surely that's something that can be discussed and settled in a way so that nobody gets angry. In a business setting this is something to negotiate and compensate accordingly.
 
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I don't think it's the specific act of "constantly being connected" that gets on your nerves, but the assumption that it means that you are constantly contactable.

I view being constantly connected as a convenience, a way to have a bunch of interesting information at the ready for my consumption at a time of my choosing. The last part is the critical bit, hence the bold text. I have my computer and phone configured so that it doesn't make a big song and dance about receiving an email or text, and I have an option to silence the thing altogether if I want to. Even on my work computer I have turned off all notifications and keep my mail client closed most of the time. My colleagues know this so if they want a speedy response to something they physically come over and talk to me.

The problem you mention where your "coworkers and family get angry with you" if you switch your mobile off is not a problem of connectivity or contact-ability but rather a problem of expectations. If you're open with your colleagues, friends, and family and tell them that you turn your phone off when you go for a walk, have your dinner, go to bed, have a bath, whatever, and that you only check your work email during work hours at 9am, noon, and 3pm then people will no longer expect you to reply to that email right away, or get mad that you didn't pick up the phone over lunch time.
 
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Well, I remember when a phone was attached to the wall, so I don't feel any need to be "connected" all the time. I usually have my phone with me, but it's usually turned off - basically I treat it like a mobile answering machine a lot of the time i.e. I can check it when I want but otherwise it doesn't bother me. As for social media etc, well, again I thought being social was about talking with real people, not typing away on some computing device (like I'm doing right now!). I think younger people - so-called digital natives - view this differently, at least judging by the way they all walk blindly down the street tapping away at their phones! But they'll learn....

And I expect my employers to pay for my time, so if they ain't paying, I ain't talking!

I agree with Tim and Ulf above - it's really your own responsibility to decide and apply your boundaries/expectations here.
 
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I find it rude when people are totally absorbed in their phone and ignoring the people around them. I see it all the time in restaurants and on the street. It's sad to see a family in a restaurant and everyone is staring at their phones instead of talking to each other.

I'm not on Twitter and never will be. I deleted all my Facebook "friends" except for family and a few actual friends that I care about. I check it maybe two or three times a week and would delete it if not for the family members. Email is mostly used for Amazon notifications and a few newsletters that I like to read. I have no RSS reader. My wife has taken it to the extreme; she doesn't even have a cellphone.

I can't imagine what is so important on these phones that we've created an entire generation that can't put the phone down. They clutch it in their hand constantly, like it's a lifeline. It's just sad. They think they are communicating, but they've lost the ability to actually communicate.
 
Jan de Boer
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Tim Cooke wrote:I don't think it's the specific act of "constantly being connected" that gets on your nerves, but the assumption that it means that you are constantly contactable.



Not sure what you mean here. I am busy with a difficult task, and there is just always the possibility of being interrupted. It does not have to happen even. The fact that the mobile is just switched on, and interruption is possible gets on my nerves. I am not sure why that is.


Tim Cooke wrote:The problem you mention where your "coworkers and family get angry with you" if you switch your mobile off is not a problem of connectivity or contact-ability but rather a problem of expectations.



Depends on the person. My father is the worse. I have told him many times I switch the phone off when I am really busy and concentrated doing a task or study. Nevertheless, he tries all possibilities. Mobile switched of, try home phone, try other mobile, and then try Skype. My daughter is best, always sends mails, which I can open in my own selected time. Most people are understanding. But the ones that are not, can be very persistent.
 
Tim Cooke
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Jan de Boer wrote:I am busy with a difficult task, and there is just always the possibility of being interrupted. It does not have to happen even. The fact that the mobile is just switched on, and interruption is possible gets on my nerves. I am not sure why that is.


Set your phone so that it does not notify you of anything. Either off or silent mode.

A technique that works for me is the Pomodoro Technique. It's really simple, you work on one thing uninterrupted for 25 minutes, followed by a 5 minute break, then do another 25 minutes, 5 min break, etc etc. So for those 25 minutes when you're working, turn off all possible interruptions, mobile phone off, house phone ringer off, email client closed, IM client closed, everything. After the time's up, then you can do what you like during the break, check messages if you want, visit CodeRanch, make a cup of tea, go outside, anything. I find it works very well and can be applied to a lot of tasks. I've even used it when doing the housework!
 
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People do think they are entitled to phone and interrupt at any time. Some people even seem to be paid to do that sort of thing.

A few years ago we met a couple of teenage girls on the train near Castleton and they were horrified to find there was no phone signal. Even when I told them the signal would reappear when we got to Battersby Hall, they were still worried. They obviously expected to be shot full of poison arrows or eaten by crocodiles within five minutes.
 
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My cell phone is for MY convenience, and not for anyone else. That goes for friends, family, work...Sure, you can call it whenever you want. But I don't have to answer it.

I don't understand why anyone finds that a difficult concept.
 
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Jan de Boer wrote:Not sure what you mean here. I am busy with a difficult task, and there is just always the possibility of being interrupted. It does not have to happen even. The fact that the mobile is just switched on, and interruption is possible gets on my nerves. I am not sure why that is.


Didn't that problem exist with the home phone landline? Or your office phone? The cell phone is better because you have the ability to turn it off.

As far as your co-workers and family being angry with you, set expectations. My family and friends know that I hardly ever check Facebook. They aren't upset because I'm consistent. It isn't as if I am ignoring them. My co-workers know that the best way to get in touch with me when I'm not at my desk is a high priority email. [I have my phone set to ONLY vibrate for high priority messages and those are rare]. And I have a do-not-disturb sign for when I am at my desk and highly focused on something. I hardly get any cell phone calls. Nobody is angry.

Even when I get a new boss (or teammate), I tell him/her about my communication preferences. They've been honored. When someone calls, it isn't that they are trying to bother you. It is often that the person doesn't have as high a threshold of what is a problem.
 
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I like the link to the Mark Cuban piece in the OP's link. If he would say stuff like that on Sharks...

I don't own a cell phone. I have personal email, but I rarely check it (once every two months or so). I tried Facebook under an assumed name and was almost immediately turned off, and killed the account. I think of my laptop as a phenomenal library and also a great building tool (programming). A social thing only 5% of the time. I would rather spend even that 5% around a camp fire with a beer

I love to write Android programs but have never run one on a phone of my own. The emulator is excellent, and I will borrow a phone for final test and tweaking!
 
Jan de Boer
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Didn't that problem exist with the home phone landline?



Yes! In the Netherlands, twenty years ago, we had an advertising campaign which slogan was, translated: "Who can count to ten, can contact the whole world", already in those days I made it "Who can count to ten, can bother the whole world". My dislike against phones goes way back.
 
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