How Connected Do We Need To Be?
I just was reading about a "Rehab Resort for Crackberry addicts" which I cam across on a canada.com Technology news feed*. It talks about a new resort plan where people sign a waiver and pledge to go off-line for the duration of their stay while handing over their cellphones, BlackBerrys and other mobile devices. The devices get locked up in the hotel safe.
The package includes all the amenities of the resorts -- and we are talking the Fairmont Hotel and Resorts with the hot springs and other facilities included. The resorts are in Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, and Whistler.
All that to get away from their electronic umbilical cords for a short while. Of course people start young with their dependence on mobile devices with even special cellphones for children. I think a larger percentage of teens have them than not -- enough that there have to be regulations about cellphones and cellphone usage in school and on school property. All the time looking out the windows at the Gnomestead I see teens in the 7-11 parking lot talking or texting as if the rest of the world did not exist -- oblivious to the fact that they are actually standing in a strip mall parking lot with life streaming past -- they'd never notice the mountains around them or the bald eagle soaring overhead.
Adults who can't seem to be away from the office or other job site without being "attached" somehow are a similar issue though different. Are they so important that they are not allowed to have a life other than for the corporation? Can the company not function without their input while they are not actually working on shift? If the company does operate 24 hours or 16 hours a day, perhaps there should be supervisors that can be trusted to watch over it without needing constant referral to the people who are home?
Or... perhaps those who are glued to the hip to the phone or BlackBerry simply are so dissatisfied with their life that they would rather be with whomever is on the other end of the line than the person the are with in person? If someone is on a date and constantly talking or texting someone during it, perhaps they would rather be with that person? -- or at least someplace they can talk and text without the constant interruption of feeling they should be making conversation.
Or is that the point of standing in the corner store parking lot with the strangers streaming past? -- the privacy of a public corner in order to always be in contact with someone, someplace, anyplace, but where they are.
* Rehab resorts for Crackberry addicts - Sarah Mc Ginnis, Canwest News Service - published July 17, 2008 - © Calgary Herald 2008