You Mean Once We're Always Connected, We Can Always Be Bothered?

from the two-sides-to-every-technology dept

While some people hail devices like the Blackberry that allow constant mobile access to email or other work information as a godsend, they tend to ignore the downside of anytime, anywhere connectivity -- that you're connected any time, anywhere. Too often the devices are accompanied either by an expectation that their users are available for work matters all the time, or an expectation or behavior from users that they should be checking them all the time. As these technologies become more pervasive and popular, the ability to "switch off" may get even harder for some people. Employers need to understand that just because their employees can be connected and available all the time doesn't mean they should be. Workers should also realize that having a Blackberry doesn't mean the workday suddenly just got expanded to 24 hours, either. Still, for those that absolutely can't bring themselves to put the devices away when they're on vacation, they can stay at one Chicago hotel that says it will take them away and lock them up from willing guests.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 8th, 2006 @ 10:35am


    Seems more like a publicity stunt for the hotel. Sure, you can check your Blackberry in with the hotel manager to get some free time. Alternatively, users of connected devices can take the radical step of familiarizing themselves with the "off" button. Isn't part of the problem with these devices that they contribute to complicating our lives. And isn't checking a Blackberry in with the Maitre d'hotel just another complication in our lives, and an un-necessary one at that.

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

  2. identicon
    Carlo, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 10:35am

    Off? You can turn these things off?

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

  3. icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Jun 8th, 2006 @ 10:35am

    No, Not You

    No, Carlo. *You* cannot turn these things off. As you know, Mike requires Techdirt writers to be available at all times. I was suggesting this as an option for our readers. I think Mike has glued my switch to on. Best we can hope for is 'vibrate'.

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

  4. identicon
    Tim Arview, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 11:01am


    Did poor Carlo get a 3am "must have it now!" message on his Blackberry? Poor thing.

    The real story, I take it, is the hotel story?

    Honestly, there are some of us that feel the 24/7 "on call" blues even without a Blackberry. Doing away with it won't fix the problem.

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

  5. identicon
    Cody, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 11:29am

    Re: Aww...

    I feel the anytime/anywhere call with a cell phone, the only difference with a blackberry is that the person bugging me doesn't even have to speak anymore. I like that though because I dislike the phone and prefer e-mail or face to face for important things.

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

  6. identicon
    mlvassallo, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 11:42am


    "Honestly, there are some of us that feel the 24/7 "on call" blues even without a Blackberry. Doing away with it won't fix the problem."

    I feel that. I would rather have a Blackberry email than a Motorola Beeper going off all the time.

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

  7. identicon
    Secret agent man, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 11:51am


    GET A LIFE all of you.
    unless Im expecting an important call.....REALLY important. I shut the damn thing off. I'll use the VM afew times a day to screen. When I reply I make it
    a practice to use the Land Line where practical. You
    will be surprised how many calls you dont have to answer. It really helps cure verbal diarrhea.

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

  8. identicon
    Andrew, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 11:56am

    I have to agree with Secret Agent Man. Just because you own a device doesn't mean that you need to carry it with you everywhere or answer the thing. Leave it at home, shut it off, whatever. Connectivity is a luxury not an expectation.

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

  9. identicon
    Tin Ear, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 12:11pm

    Reminds me of a joke...

    It goes like this:

    A doctor is at a 'high class social' party. He spots an acquaintance across the room, whom he knows is an attorney. He makes his way across the floor and engages in small talk. During the conversation, he mentions that it's difficult to attend functions like the party without people coming up to ask him about any number of maladies and ailments. He explains that he feels he should offer them advice, but it's a burden on his time off from his work. "How do you handle people requesting your professional service in a social setting?" he asks the attorney. "Simple," replied the attorney, "I simply send them a bill for services in the morning."
    "That's a great idea!" exclaims the doctor, "Thank you for telling me about it." "No problem" says the attorney and they part company and go off to enjoy the party.

    The next day, the doctor gets a bill for the attorney's advice in the mail.

    As far as I'm concerned, if it isn't during 'work hours', it's worth a lot more than my hourly pay to reply to a work related message. I think I would write an auto-respond message saying that I would get to any messages as soon as I got back to the office.

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 1:27pm

    Workaholics... they're the worst addicts of them all, and it's a silly addiction too.

    I have a blackberry too, and I get email from work on it, but I have no problems ignoring it after work hours. Sure, I'll answer it - well, depends on who's calling. If it's important, I'm sure they'll leave a voicemail, otherwise, if I'm not on call that week - they'll get a reply in the morning.

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

  11. identicon
    Silver, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 1:57pm

    Sometimes It's Gotta Go

    I am a network technician and definately embrace technology. But, I personally got rid of my cellphone 6 months ago after getting $250 bills (Non exagerrated 6 month average) and people getting upset if i didn't answer or call them back. While sometimes it would be convenient, I have found out that truthfully it's unnecessary, Now if they made a cellphone where other people had to give a credit card to pay the bill then maby I'd be game :) Until then peopole have to realize that (Usually) they pay the bill for their convenience, not everyone elses, when it's not convenient it can go.

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

  12. identicon
    anonymous coward, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 3:02pm

    my weekends are spent drinking, using recreational drugs, and banging my very attractive girlfriend. unless you are going to make my salary the size of a medium-sized state lottery, that is they way it is going to stay.

    i am not defined by my job, nor do I let it define me. it's a paycheck. that is all. most people that i see that are always "on the clock" having nothing better to do anyway. turn off the crackberry, get out of the office. get a little fresh air and a nice piece of ass. life is too short to be answering work email on Saturday...

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 3:04pm

    Dont these devices have OFF buttons?

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

  14. identicon
    SchlingBlade, Jun 9th, 2006 @ 9:02am


    Amen. This has to be the most intelligent post I've seen on Tech Dirt to date. ;-)

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

  15. identicon
    a kid 16 years old, Sep 12th, 2007 @ 9:31am


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

  16. identicon
    ok i am 24 and al but hear me out, Sep 17th, 2007 @ 10:47am

    wtf us up with you kids this sixteen year old if he is sixteen to begine wit is smarter then what you guys think... listen to him for once

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

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