Written by: Conrade Yap
Date: 23 Feb 2011
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
MAIN POINT: In a 24x7, always on technological environment, there is a temptation of making technology the new god of the modern age. Slow down. Stop. Look up. Do not turn technology into the modern ‘golden calf.’
Power outages can cause major disruptions in any city. Network outages hamper work and affect both internal and external communications. Several years ago, when I was a software engineer with a large American firm, there occurred a systems outage. Computers cannot connect to the network. The clocks failed to synchronize. People stopped working. Emptying office cubicles, office staff packed the cafeteria and surrounding coffee shops. The day continued on. None of my colleagues were complaining. That was 20 years ago.
In an Always-On culture, people get jitters just to know that their iPhones or Blackberries are not working. Frantic looks appears when Facebook or Twitter sites disappear. I know some who can only pace back and forth aimlessly when their electronic gadgets fail to work. Tools used to be a supplement, an option for man to work with. With technology, tools are no longer just an option. The roles have been reversed. The one who created the machine, can no longer live without it. Technology has reversed the paradigm. It is no longer machines that need man to make it function, but man that needs machines in order to function. The maker cannot live without his toys.
In an insightful look at online environments and mobile lifestyles, and how they influence people, Naomi Baron lists three consequences of ‘being always on.’ They are personal; ethical; cognitive; and social consequences.