Cell Phone Fatigue: Can we be “Just Friends?

In the olden days, (pre-911) when writing for a defence lobby firm, I fell in love with the Blackberry.  Oh my gosh, it was amazing.  The fact that it had email, a cell phone, texting (BBM) was a miracle of technology at the time.  We synced our devices regularly, waiting with baited breath as data flew back and forth.  After the process we breathed a sigh of relief at the simultaneous update and had peace because we were truly connected.  Nothing would slip between the cracks now.  Full access at the touch of your finger tips.  Mmmm good stuff.

When we were all getting to know the benefits of a PDA it was a select few who had these devices.  It was a juicy select club of elite business people who utilized these devices to do a little bizz.  It was prestigious to have to stay so connected to your office or clients because it meant you were a busy successful mover and shaker on the upswing.  “Um, nice beeper Bob.  Sure you can borrow my phone.”

We worry over data plans, pick out accessories, touch them, tap their apps, hold them in our hands, check our klout, read emails, watch videos, text our chums, tweet our sandwich choices, icon our emotions, load our photos and express ourselves.

But this is now and the romance is over.  It’s late and the suit is a little wrinkled, the cologne has worn off and now we just pray that saying “let’s just be friends” will be a good for business.  We have the Murdoch mess, precarious privacy, crappy crime mobs, sloppy celebrities, and Weiner whiners; all while pretending to pay attention to the humans in front of us.

It’s no longer enough to just tweet what we are up to; we have to “check in” and get square with the four.  We ensure that we have constant wi-fi access in case we need to show people what’s happening where we are (insert funny cat video here); because this is vital information to our followers/friends/links/circles/hangouts/groups/lists……  If you can’t tweet it in the forest, did the tree really fall?

Where does it all lead?  We are wholly unified by our access to information and one another but where does it get us?  We could all probably give ourselves a little social slap in terms of cell phone etiquette in an actual human setting.  Is it on the table while you lunch?  Do you feel special when it vibrates?  Oh Pavlov the power of your theory today is exponential.

We feel purposeful when we enter information into our social media platforms, even diligent because we are expending energy.  We can even fake a call on our cell phones to appear busy, important or to avoid human contact.  But nothing is sweeter than receiving info/alerts/notifications and hearing those ringtones chime out confirming our perceived necessity in the wild wild web.

If the original goal was to be connected, how’s your handshake now?  As excited as I am by the technology and mobile application potential,  I remind my entrepreneur friends that business is about trust and confidence built.  It’s not the false send of intimacy on-line but by looking each other in the eye, shaking hands and making sure that we feel valued.

Will we just be friends, or business associates aligning ourselves for success?  Just a sec I have a text I’ll get right back to you.

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