Worldwide instant communications: boon or burden?
11 November 2016
It doesn’t seem that long ago mobile phones were the size (and weight) of a house brick – and only the lucky few had them.
Nowadays, of course, the reach of mobile phones, and especially smartphones, is to probably above 90% of the population. And, of course, not only do we use phones for calls, but banking, sending photos, emails, internet browsing, social media, and the perennially popular text message. These text messages or SMS have evolved over the last few years with Apps such as Facebook instant messenger, which offer a combination of instant text messaging and pictures, plus the ability to add and send attachments.
In short, we now live in a world of instant communication and one can be found, reached, or contacted almost no matter where you are.
Great for business undoubtedly—and yet some people are beginning to feel this instant, immediate 24/7 access is starting to impinge upon their private life. Once you get an email, text message or social media message, there is an unspoken pressure by some people to reply quickly; an unwritten rule not to keep the recipient waiting too long. I’m a busy man, and don’t have time to respond to text messages or facebook messages all the time, so I don’t adhere to any unwritten rule or expectation one may have in the way of messaging. I don’t like to feel pressure to respond, so I don’t feel pressure.. And I’ll reply when I can. 🙂 I think technology should be a useful tool in our lives, but not something that controls our lives.
That’s not to say that technology is all bad!
I can’t deny this worldwide accessibility and communication has been a great boon for my own business—after all, where would I be if people couldn’t surf the net and read about me on my website or blog? And how would my clients from all around the state, and the world, get in touch with me or get to know about me and my services?
On the other hand, I do like to maintain a high level of discretion and confidentiality about what I do — both for my client’s protection and also mine—so I always strive for an acceptable balance of being accessible, yet only being available when I am free to give my clients my undivided, complete attention… after all that’s what they have come to expect!
Taking this a step further, everyone and anyone needs some personal down time and I find it suits me, now and then, to be able to turn off my laptop, don’t look at my emails and switch off my iPhone, for maybe a day or so to help me recuperate and rejuvenate myself—and get ready to start afresh after a period of rest.
No matter how great instant communications are, we still have that ability to be able to disconnect our machines and devices if we really want too—and that can’t be all that bad, can it?