Mobile: The Good, the Bad and the Busy

mobilephonesThere’s an interesting piece written by Gary Sernovitz, managing director of the investment firm Lime Rock Partners, on WSJ.com about his “. . . Life as a Cellphone Holdout.” Sernovitz was recently and reluctantly getting his first phone the week of his 40th birthday and only because he’ll be telecommuting often.

It takes a strong person to maintain the fixed over mobile mentality. Even the luddites in my life are addicted to their mobile devices.

It’s hard to imagine what would life be like without the always on, always available, mobile mentality that the proliferation of smart phone has made so commonplace today. Okay, as Sernovitz astutely notes that was life in 1992 – so it’s not too hard to imagine what life would be like – a lot of Baby Got Back, November Rain, and big car phones that no one really used because it cost $100 per minute. In all seriousness, could we actually be successful today without our mobile devices? My thought as a communications professional is probably not in this industry.

“Eighty percent of success is showing up” and mobility lets us react and respond quickly – or show up. It lets us do our jobs wherever we are. It also lets us have a personal life yet still be tapped in whenever we need to be. But, there is something to be said about detaching or (gasp!) shutting it off at times. I thought it would be interesting to put together a pros and cons list for our mobile dependency. Here’s a start. Please share your thoughts. End of Story

Pros Cons
Always reachable Always reachable
Increases productivity, efficiency. You can read emails, news, etc. on the go. Don’t have to wait until you’re at a computer. Increases rude behavior. People read emails, news, etc. while in meetings or in a conversation with another person. Makes the other person feel like a third wheel (to a phone…)
Saves lives, solves crimes (call 911, find videos and pictures of terrorists, criminals) Can cause accidents and even deaths from distracted driving and walking
Quiets the kids with games and videos Kids no longer talk to each other in person. (While I was as the grocery store, I actually saw a girl get asked to the prom by text . . .)
Stay in touch with family and friends Get out of touch with reality
Instant access to information People become impatient; want immediate gratification
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2 comments “Mobile: The Good, the Bad and the Busy”

My mobile helps may stay in touch with friends and family both here and abroad. I can shoot my dad a text for free, via WhatsApp, when he’s traveling, and I can stay close to my friends who have moved across the country. It would be more difficult to do so without texting.

Excellent ‘Baby Got Back’ reference.