Apologies for those of you who’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for the Facebook article I blogged about a while ago (it’s OK – I don’t really believe that 😉 It got bumped to December’s issue, so will be out shortly. I’ve led two discussion groups recently, one in a crypt, one in a library – go figure – along the same lines as the article, and one of the themes that has come up in discussion both times is that of personal bandwidth, or digital obesity. Check email / check blog / check phone for messages / check other blog / check Facebook / check work email… hell, you could spend all day checking devices. And that’s before you’ve even tried to get them synced.
I’ve met about 10 or 15 people this month who’ve talked – to use this metaphor – about dieting. Just trying to thin out the time they spend online checking stuff. Some have closed Facebook accounts, others have deleted messaging services. All are trying to spend more time with actual people. And, to be honest, I’ve been doing the same. (Though, ironically, I’ve just met a wonderful blogger who lives in the next road)
I wonder what our kids will be doing when they get to the age of virtual communication. Will the childhood obesity problem hit their bandwidth as well as their waistbands? Or will things have become more integrated? I’m thinking it may be a bit of both, but I’m always pleased when some integration technology makes things easier now. Like Gmail doing IMAP. Or Bento – this new offering from Filemaker that is a one-stop database for all your contacts, events etc.. Looks good.
Either way, I think my thesis in the article still holds: we are desperate for connection, and will get it down wires if we don’t get it down the street. Question is how much of which is healthy.