July 6, 2011

Are We Too Connected?

Check For Messages

I have a colleague I've known for years. Usually when we get together, we book something through email or Twitter direct message. I realized the other day I don't have his cell number but it's never been a barrier. We are in a world where the message is the medium and that represents a myriad choices. It's like any content we publish. It can go anywhere and we can't dictate where our clients, friends, colleagues or prospects will hang out.

I normally continue with whatever medium the original connection occurred. So if someone sends an email, the response is in an email etc. But how often have you crossed platforms during the same conversation? It starts with a DM, then moves to a call on your mobile device and then a Facebook email and finally to a text to confirm. We often just use whatever interface is handy at the moment we want to connect.

Never Ending Content

Estimates vary, but there are about 3 million emails sent every second and just over a trillion text messages each year in the U.S. alone. We have moved from a want-it-now environment to over-there-is-more-important-than-here world. If you own a smartphone, you may check it constantly. It has become the new bad habit.

You rarely see people walking out of a long meeting and not checking their device for emails and messages. We are checking at stoplights, on the sidelines at kids’ sporting events, during those five free minutes between meetings, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, we are constantly trying to connect. We might miss something.

This Just In...

You may be of the age that email has always been there. I am not. I remember the first time I started venturing online and having electronic mail. I also remember the first time I got a smartphone with the warnings from others that I would be addicted in about five minutes. It took three.

We are petrified to miss something that we take our connections on vacations. I saw someone checking email in the church at a wedding ceremony. We want to be in touch, respond to notes, set up meetings, share important information, get back to that guy.

How do we stay connected yet make better connections?

Kneale Mann

image credit: guardian.co.uk
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