Earlier this week I was watching one of the many news channels and caught a story on how much time the average person spends on their cell phones and tablets per day, the average is over five hours. How does this effect productivity? I have to believe it isn’t good. I admit I have never been a huge fan of Facebook, at least not of posting vacation photos, and such. Perhaps 30+ years in and around law enforcement makes that translate to, “We are away and the house is empty so you can come rob us of all our worldly possessions!” But, I didn’t realize just how much time is spent on smart devices.
I am not saying they aren’t great, they are. I have been half way around the world for the last year and a half and been able to FaceTime on average twice/day with Julie. It really reminds me of all the Star Trek episodes I use to watch as a child. I also text, and frequently look things up online, so perhaps all “cell time” isn’t unproductive. I can certainly say, things aren’t the same as when I was growing up in the sixties and seventies, but they are perhaps better, technology wise at least.
I know whenever I am at the gym, I have my work out routine at my fingertips, you guessed it, on my cell phone. I go to lots of meetings as a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy, and when I take notes, they are often on my cell phone or I-Pad. The downside of this is that in secured spaces the devices aren’t allowed. Whenever I run, I track my run with an application, Map My Fitness tells my how far I have run, my average pace, calories burnt and even will post on Facebook and Twitter to let others see what I’ve done.
I can remember all the dumb things I did as a teenager, most of which, my parents had absolutely no idea where I was or what I was doing. Technology affords parents an ability to at least track their children’s where-a-bouts. I am also sure, just as I was able to circumvent my parents best efforts, so are our children able to get around today’s techno-tracking techniques.
I also know there is the flip side of it too. I am even guilty myself at times of fiddling with my cell phone while out to dinner or looking at something at 2 am just because I woke up thinking about it. It really boils down to just what we’re actually doing when we are on our “devices”. I am quite sure this week many folks will be tracking their “NCAA Brackets” to see how they are doing with their picks, bets and office pools. Bottom line is all this technology isn’t a bad thing, like everything else it is how you choose to use it.