The ubiquity of technology and its effect on the domestic life has been increasingly covered in the media as we accelerate towards a life of hyper-connectivity. These days, we seem to feel that it is necessary to be connected, wired, or plugged-in all hours of the day. Kids can’t seem to let go of their cellphones, preferring to die rather than letting their precious text messages, IMs, and phone calls sweep through the air without their knowledge. Even adults get a nagging feeling from not being able to check their BlackBerry for messages.
I wonder how many people started getting frantic and unnerved when Twitter recently went down. People get disoriented without the ability to stay connected with everyone. In the event of any service outages, be it on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or RIM’s BlackBerry network, I’ve gathered that most people’s instinctual reaction is one of a particular nervousness that is reminiscent of addiction. They get jittery: “Oh no, what if Julia needs to change up our plans?” “This is terrible, I need to get access to my email, I’m waiting for some very important news!” Some people might even get depressed if they can’t get their daily dosage of socializing on their favorite social networking site.In that New York Times article above, a mother describes a typical morning in her household:
<blockquote>“Things that I thought were unacceptable a few years ago are now commonplace in my house,” she said, “like all four of us starting the day on four computers in four separate rooms.”
What I have to ask is this: what the hell is so damned important that you cannot spend the first twenty minutes of your morning away from a computer or a cellphone? Unless you’re the leader of a superpower on the brink of nuclear war, I highly doubt that there is any necessity for such excessive connectivity. Your average person does not live in a state of life-or-death decision making. If little Susie wants to make plans with her BFF, it’s not going to kill her if she has twenty minutes of quiet time in the morning. The world is not going to end if she doesn’t reach her friend.
Come back on Friday for Part II. Here’s a snippet:
But what I am seeing is a heavy reliance on the digital lifestyle. People are always surprised at how much they can still get done without their cellphones and laptops when the time comes.