Monday, November 12, 2007


Skimming the paper, I saw this article on Blackberry's...
I have one and I am finding it both addictive and intrusive.  I can remember getting my first work email account back in the mid-90's and it was going to be amazing how much more free time you will have with such a nifty application.  Our desktops were all individually hooked up to the Internet via our own dial up modems and there would be a cacophany of sound as the modems would wirr and beep every morning.  The speed was amazing as it took "just minutes" to load a website.
We had a 12 year old boy - a nephew of an employee - come in and design a website for my work and it took him just 4 hours and he got $200!  (We werent terribly concerned that the website looked like it had been designed by a 12 year old boy, that wasnt the point!)
The new age of "greater efficiency at the office equating to greater hours of relaxation time" had arrived.
Now, fast forward 10-12 years, this morning my neighbour in the next cube is tired because he has been dealing with our partners in Spain all weekend via his Blackberry and laptop, my boss is in a tizz because some deal has gone awry over the weekend and he has 100's of emails in his system, I myself spent the greater part of my train trip in dealing with an issue from our Adelaide office that cropped up over the weekend and we all have these little black devices within arm reach of us 24x7 to deal with any crisis that may arise.
And thats the difference... with email, the definition of a "crisis" has changed... basically it is now expected that you deal with ANYTHING that comes onto your email - either via the work PC or the BlackBerry - with immediate expediancy.  No longer do we "deal with it on Monday", but now it is the norm that things are dealt with before anything else - even if thats a family matter.
Sad, but true, we are now working longer than ever before....


DM said...

Comes down to greed I find. The more capacity you have to work, the more they want from you. These devices are toted as 'saving time' when in reality all they do is make you available for 'more work'.

We live in the age of the quickening, this seems to be the accepted standard now. Although I'm personally not religious, it is interesting to stop for a moment and look at the world around you and think that there might actually be something to the theory :

I have a work Blackberry myself and the damn thing is annoying. You feel compelled to pick it up each time the red LED starts blinking because it might just be something important.

I feel that in today's day and age of 'time saving devices' we need to step back and enjoy what we have instead of pushing the human body beyond the rational all in the name of the dollar.

It seems with the way the cost of living is getting out of hand, the worsening of war, shortening of oil supplies, credit crunches deflating economies, housing costs at ridiculous levels that the human race is really starting to lose the plot.

I know that's all really deep for what's generally a light blog, but I think it's all related and in order to understand the impact of the changing pace of the world properly, I think you do have to sit down and look at the broader picture.

I work in IT and my favourite saying is that the only thing computers are good for, is games.


Anonymous said...

People always have choice.

You CAN turn things off, leave them in a sock drawer.

If it's a requirment of work for you to be on call 24/7 then your the one who decided to work this job to provide for your family.

Clay said...

Ah yes Anon, the old turn off argument...

But the point is that they are addictive too! Not only does work want you to use them, but YOU want to use it because its so nifty and easy and you can technically work away from the office.

That is the enticing thing and hence the name "crack"berry