A friend gave me a Helen Exley gigglebook for my birthday. Cellphones: They Drive Us Crazy. I reflected on a little quip that my husband for some strange reason does NOT think is amusing – I LOVE my Blackberry, and I’m having an affair with the iPhone! To give you a sense of the book, here’s a teaser:
The cellular phone is today’s must-have technology but, for some, the ear-splitting ringtones, mindless babble and sheer adoration that these tiny tools inspire is beyond comprehension
Funny thing was I didn’t think it was funny. It seemed like a serious discussion about how we now use these little satanic devices called personal digital assistants.
One of my dear friends, Papa, a devoted old school church man, often refers to the Blackberry Prayer, where several people in a room bow their heads , looking down, all in unison checking their PDA. Maybe we are all not really addicted but just in deep prayerful thought… about work. I just found this site, Mind Prison: Internet Addiction Disorder, that probably accurately relays the PDA issues, in general about the Internet, but in particular can refer to this religious digital experience that we all go through.
In a world of rapidly advancing technology, it is hard to ignore the Internet which is becoming more and more centric to the lives of users worldwide. Yet the convenience the electronic age provides come with a price. The ugly truth is that the Internet is as addictive as it is useful. Unrestrained or unsupervised, users of the Web will find themselves invariably and unwittingly chained by the shackles of the addictive elements of the Internet.
Our addiction to these seductive technologies are arguable productive, but they can be lethal. Consider this story of a woman who was sentenced for six years in prison for killing a woman while she was paying a few bills via text messaging while driving.
I do believe that in the always on technological society, we are using PDAs, cellphones, etc. very frequently. But how do you know when you are addicted? Consider:
· It is in a different room on a different floor, and you still feel the vibration?
· You use it as an alarm clock
· You use it in the bathroom
· To maintain marital bliss, you and your spouse communicate primarily by text messaging
· You respond to emails from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Director while on a cruise in the middle of the Caribbean
I better stop, this is getting too personal.
So, here’s a “prophetic” article circa April 2008 that discusses the effect of the iPhone on the Crackberry:
Thankfully for CrackBerry users, an alternative is looming on the horizon. It’s the new iPhone…
The iPhone gives you new applications to love. I can get traffic, shake the iPhone to help me decide where to eat, take great pictures and share, surf the internet with ease, and … shazaam … I can name that tune in as many notes as it takes!
Oh, I forgot. As the CIO, I need to discuss the alignment to mission and the competitive advantage that organizations have when they leverage these amazing technologies. Deep breaths. Ok, I feel better now. Yes indeed, I love my PDA.
Linda Cureton, CIO, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center