(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Carlo Longino

When Technology Overwhelms

from the blackberry-itis dept

It seems inevitable that after the proliferation of some technology, there's a backlash against it -- or at least a news story somewhere saying there's one. This time around, it's the Washington Post talking up how some people feel so overwhelmed by iPods and cell phones that they have to set rules governing how they use them. It's hard to see how anyone should be surprised that some people have trouble incorporating new devices into their lives, and decide they just have to unplug, though it's still unclear how life is automatically better without them. What people need, rather than just another person telling them to throw away their phone, is a way to better control the technology (well, maybe that, and some manners). It's easy to be overwhelmed, when, for instance, people can reach you via phone or email at all times, and they expect quick responses. In the case of mobile phones, this illustrates the need for presence -- a system to manage and control availability and responses, which would let people maintain the benefits of their communications devices, but control them in such a way that they don't become a burden.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Ryan, Jan 16th, 2006 @ 9:24am

    Technology does overwhelm

    I am probably one of the few who wished that the clock was never invented. Sure, we could tell time, but we had to be on time to work (as well as other places) from then on.
    Anyway to the point, they need to prioritize what they need and don't need. Leave the ipod in the car, and listen to it during breaks or bring it up if your just working at the desk. You don't need music. Same with responding to people. Your bosses first, then your co-workers.

    I am happy to say that I am in the bahamas right now with a 100 dollar computer that runs off a built-in solar cell, and is connected to the internet through a local palm tree. No worries, sipping on my pina colada, next to a pool. With alot of hot chicks from dead or alive volleyball..... and mario and luigi are dj'ing up in the bar.

    I drift in and out to hearing myself talk.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Steve Borsch, Jan 16th, 2006 @ 9:48am

    Information Overload

    Man...I am feelin' this in spades. Right now, I have 30+ hours of podcasts on my iPod (IT Conversations, PodTech, Diggnation, TwIT, Science Friday, etc.) that I just cant' get to. In fact, I'm so increasingly agitated about this that I did a post about information overload last Saturday: http://borsch.typepad.com/ctd/2006/01/information_ove.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Sean Smith, Jan 16th, 2006 @ 10:03am

    Re: Information Overload

    People talk to slow. Reading is much more efficient.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    DV Henkel-Wallace, Jan 16th, 2006 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Information Overload

    I agree people speak too slowly. I would far far prefer to read something (and skip around) than listen to someone blathering on about it even if they're reading the same text. The whole podcast thing seems like several steps backwards (since you can't link into the middle of them or put links into them, etc).

    For that matter reading with RSS on the screen is still a lot slower than reading the newspaper. I can't wait until that's no longer true! But the eye can skim around the much larger newspaper page better than it can the tiny screen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Rosamunda, Jan 16th, 2006 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Information Overload

    I do prefer people to send you emails, or SMS... please, stop talking nonesense by phone!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Brian Bartlett, Jan 17th, 2006 @ 3:24am

    Drop out

    I can design and build a cell-phone, or computer for that matter, from scratch and I mean right down to the raw silicon. Several years ago I had a cell phone and after my first year was up, I gave it up. I don't miss it at all. If you want to reach me, send me an e-mail. I might get back to you although I wouldn't put money on it. Don't even think about trying the fixed phone line!

    Today's always connected lifestyle can go hang (up). I get far more work done on the projects that I'm interested in now. Far less stressful. Selfish of me isn't it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    MLO, Jan 17th, 2006 @ 5:24am

    On Cell Phone Usage

    I dont't think I'll ever be able to understand those people that feel the need to chat on their cell phones constantly...on the bus, the train, while walking through the store.

    I'm not talking about the person who makes a quick call to confirm an appointment or alert someone that they are running late. I'm talking about the people that talk about anything and everything while in transport. My first thought is: How on earth are you affording the minutes? The second: Are you aware that everyone within earshot now knows your favorite sexual position with your significant other?

    I have a cell, but I rarely get incoming calls...mostly because I rarely make outgoing calls. It's there if I absolutely have to contact someone while in transit...and that's it.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    sharp, Jan 17th, 2006 @ 6:37am

    Re: On Cell Phone Usage

    they knew her favorite position long before that my friend ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    sfjocko, Jan 17th, 2006 @ 10:34am

    Re: On Cell Phone Usage

    I have printed these cards out, and look for opportunities to give them out. So far, they've worked like a charm to keep the loud cellphone users away, but I know that won't last.

    Check them out, print them out. They're brilliant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Burp Police, Jan 17th, 2006 @ 11:25am

    No Subject Given

    I usually just blow a big, fat garlic and onion burp right in the face of the person chatting on the cell phone and then "apologize" with "Oh, terribly sorry that my boorish personal behavior so grossly intruded on your personal space."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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