Stay Connected, Stay Sane

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 too much communication can be negative. What does it mean to live in a world of almost constant connectivity? Read on for a number of 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 staying in touch easier. A recent example of this benefit is international communication.  With the help of an Internet connection and a web cam, soldiers deployed overseas can communicate with their families, face–to-face.
  • Technology has made telecommuting an accessible reality. Thanks to cloud computing, working from home is easy and practical. This allows workers on maternity or sick leave to maintain a valuable level of productivity.

The Cons

  • Being connected means being always available. True, it is nice to be in touch with those you love, but we all need some privacy. We all have days when we need a little time alone and being constantly connected makes that time more and more difficult to find.
  • The ability to take your office with you also means you are always at the office. While redefining the workday and enabling more flexible hours can increase productivity, it can also make workers over-work. It’s important to keep your private and professional lives separate, which is increasingly difficult thanks to increased connectivity.
  • Constant connectivity may make us seem faraway to those close to us. Keeping 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.

Digital communication is simply a new way for us to communicate. However, it’s important to remember moderation when deciding how connected we allow our lives to become. Connectivity is not fundamentally good or bad; instead its merit is dependent on how you utilize it.

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