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The Myth of Productivity



I love the idea of being connected.  I make sure to carry my iPod Touch with me all the time, and I  usually want to take my notebook with me every time I leave the house.  I have a special gadget bag with all of my necessary tech toys for any situation that I might encounter.  This very moment I’m trying to justify another computer to my wife.  That would bring the grand total in our house to four.  Why on Earth would I need four computers?  I’m strongly considering an unlimited voice and data plan through my cell phone carrier.  Like many others, I feel this strong need hoard technology and be connected.

There has recently been a lot of talk in the media about being over-connected.  In fact, ABC News reached an agreement with their employees about after hours work that is completed via mobile devices.  Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, have helped us reached the height of social connectivity, but at the same time there seems to be no mountain peak to reach.  To the teacher that said computers will isolate people and kill the written word, I say read my Twitter.  Technology has helped the world become more flat.  It is possible to communicate with another person, a person who may even speak a different language, more than half-way around the globe.  I can be "friends" 685 people and really only know 35 of them in real life.  However, there is a need to be aware.  Employers are watching what you’re looking at more than ever.  The American Management Association reports that 66% of employers are monitoring connections, 65% are blocking inappropriate websites, and 45% are monitoring keystrokes, content, and time spent at the computer.  Even that laptop you’ve borrowed from work could end up end up getting you into trouble.

The strange part about being connected and having lots of mobile technology is that I have survived without it before.  No important note that I’ve written on a piece of paper has ever spontaneously burst into flames.  I think I’ve been sold the myth of tech productivity.  The myth of tech productivity says the that more connected you are, the more technology you have, the more productive you will be. 

The question is, how connected is too connected?  And for fun, if you were on a deserted island, what is the one mobile tech gadget could you not live without?

Update: Newsweek has some related reading that you might find interesting.

Photo credit: pfly

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