The Connected Age

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 lots of 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 being safe. Roadside disasters, unpredictable heart attacks or sudden illness are all situations that can benefit from early notification. Increased connectivity makes contacting help easier and more reliable.
  • Connectivity makes it easy to stay in touch. Relationships can be handled 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 lets you take your work anywhere. Thanks to the advancements in cloud computing, the definition of a workspace is now more flexible. Working from home is easy, and a practical option for anyone on sick or maternity leave.

The Cons

  • Connectivity is hard to turn off. We all appreciate being in touch, but sometimes we need alone time. Being continuously accessible makes disconnecting extremely difficult. This negatively affects our ability to stop and smell the roses and enjoy our surroundings.
  • Technology has made it more difficult to leave work at the office. It’s increasingly hard to walk away from a long day of work, knowing that simply opening up your computer can easily access any project you left unfinished. While connectivity continues to be a great productivity tool, it also enables people to become workaholics.
  • Constant connectivity may make us seem distant to those close to us. Staying in contact with a far-away friend is easy to do through text messages, but that communication can be a hindrance to personal face-to-face conversations. Increased connectivity can, ironically, make it more difficult to connect.

The age of connectivity has altered the way we communicate. The key to keeping ourselves in check is remembering to interact with these new experiences with moderation. We all have to strike the balance between inadequate and too much connectivity.

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