Do you have a BlackBerry® or similar PDA? They've been around for a few years and the Pew Internet and American Life Project set out to not only find out how our productivity has been affected, but also the impact on our personal lives.
They came up with some interesting findings. But first, think back to what life was like before we had this kind of technology. A great example is to watch the terrific and award winning series “Madmen” on AMC.
Set in the 1960's, there are no computers on the desks, just typewriters. As for making a phone call away from the office, you found yourself a pay phone. Examples of both are on display at the Smithsonian!
Pew Research showed that of those surveyed, 96 percent used e-mail, the Internet or cell phones, and 80 percent said that it made them more productive.
Devices like the BlackBerry allow you to perform all these functions just about anywhere. It also makes it difficult to leave the office for the weekend when your office is attached to your hip.
Of those surveyed by Pew, 22 percent said they checked e-mails "often" during weekends or holidays, and 49 percent said it made it harder for them to disconnect from the office.
I tend to be in that group. Being a CEO is a 24/7 job anyways, but I always check my inbox, if for no other reason than to keep the pile manageable for when I arrive to the office Monday. And I must admit it sure is handy to check everything from flight schedules to sports scores on the Internet from my very own phone.
However, there are also times where I simply turn it off or leave it at home when I'm out with friends etc.
Technology is a tool, but should never be a master.
John W. Scherer
John is CEO & founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org