Now here’s a thought…have you ever considered giving up the internet? Ever thought about just how much you rely on the online world to conduct your everyday life or shuddered at the very notion of not having a wifi connection for a day, afternoon or even just an hour?
Now, I’m not proud to say it, but I definitely have become anxiety ridden on occasions when unable to get online to check my emails, read the latest news headlines or just mooch about on Facebook. It’s hardly vital, urgent work matters, but yet I have become so used to being connected, could I disconnect my life? Have we become over reliant on the web, instant communication and access all areas at all times?
Perhaps we have gotten so used to this level of information overload and constant cerebral input that it may be having a detrimental affect on our wellbeing, ability to work effectively and maintain decent concentration levels. Technology journalist, Paul Miller, wholeheartedly agrees and recently took the disengagement leap and removed himself from his online life for one whole year to see how it would feel. The results are yet to be published but as some have suggested, the constant need and desire to be connected can become more than a bad habit and stray into addictive behavioural patterns.
Now although there are clearly negative associations of information overload, constant connectivity is also a necessity for small to medium business owners looking to grow and develop their business. The internet and in particular, the growth of the Cloud and hosted exchange email systems enables businesses to grow and scale up more quickly and effectively than ever before.
Now always one to be contrary, I like to represent the other side of the coin (and not just because I couldn’t quit the internet for all the tea in China) and explore the ‘connectivity positivity’ if you will. Here’s my argument; perhaps using cloud computing and hosted exchange with its security and anti-spam filters and up to the minute information and updates makes your online life more streamlined and more effective? Perhaps you actively choose to cut out the wheat from the chaff and only receive the information you need and use by migrating to the Cloud. You choose to sync devices, share calendars and receive emails on multiple platforms allowing you to get on with other things without all the technological faffing, to-ing and fro-ing.
Until Paul Miller handwrites his findings and posts them out to the world at large, we’ll have to wait and see how much of a positive, neutral or negative effect disconnection can have. So while the jury’s still out, I’ll be online for the foreseeable future.