Friday, September 6, 2013

The Ultra Connected World

I logged into work this morning and realized just how connected we are.

I have Outlook, Microsoft Lync (instant messaging), and Lync Group Chat (preset chat rooms) that are all connected.

As soon as I logged in, my manager got an alert that I'm in available status on Lync.

My name in Outlook gets a green circle icon next to it to let everyone know that I'm now at my desk.

I show up in 12 different rooms in Lync Group Chat.

An email came into my inbox 10 minutes before I logged on. Before I even had a chance to read it, my IM pops up with, "What do you think about that?"

I read through the email and was confused about it. I told the sender that I wasn't sure this would work.

All of a sudden I get a meeting message in Outlook. I click, "Accept" and then my calendar pops up an alert that my meeting starts in 5 minutes, my Lync status changes to a red dot that says, "In a Meeting," and my Outlook populates a conflict message since I had another appointment set at the same time.

I love technology, but it's getting bad. We're in a world where your response is expected within 5 minutes, otherwise the person on the other end starts freaking out. There's too many text message histories that go something like this.

11:30 am: "Do you still want to hang out tonight?"
11:33 am: "I was thinking we could get sushi or Mexican. Either 1?"
11:34 am: "What do u think?"
11:36 am: "Or if you don't like sushi or Mexican, we can do something else"
11:39 am: "Are you mad at me?"
11:41 am: "Was it because I couldn't come out the other night?"
11:42 am: "I'm sorry, something came up. I couldn't come out."

I'm not exaggerating about this at all. These are actual text messages. It's 11:30 am. I'm working and responding to the desperate pleas of co-workers via Lync.

We all see the tables out to dinner, everyone staring at the comforting glow of their smartphones. Draining that battery to make sure they are caught up on Twitter feeds. As a society, we've forgotten how to live in a moment of silence. Those are now moments of Facebook.

I'm guilty of this too. But I'm trying to get better. I makes me sick that I have this physical uncomfortable response when I don't check my phone every 5 minutes.

I need to break this. Start small. I'm only going to check the phone ever 15 minutes. We'll see how it goes from there.