I have recently given in to temptation and bought the new iPhone 3G which I have been admiring from a distance for quite a while. The main reason for wanting the phone was the ability to sync my mac calendars and email allowing me to continually be connected to the digital world (although the virtual pint is reason enough!).
I didn’t think it was too much of a problem checking and responding to emails at the dinner table or surfing the net at our local pub. However, on a recent holiday I found myself sneaking off to reply to emails and generally plug myself into my digital world at every opportunity. It wasn’t that my clients were demanding answers, they all knew we were on holiday and didn’t expect their emails to be responded too. But I felt compelled to plug in and ensure my virtual life was still there.
I’ve started to wonder if my resistance to unplug from my digital world would have a negative effect our business rather than a positive one? Here are 5 reasons you may want to think about detaching yourself from your digital world:
1. 24/7 Communication - A good thing right?!
24/7 communication sounds like a great selling point to your clients (and not too difficult to maintain as I found out), but would clients build an expectation that we are constantly contactable with no excuses. Would they then have a shock when we didn’t respond to an email within 48 hours?
2. Creativity in a Virtual World
Am I locking myself too much into my digital world? Inspiration comes from everywhere however if I am unable to see beyond my virtual surroundings will that start to effect my creativity?
3. Time Waster
Even with the benefits of 3G, logging on away from home takes time and connections are often quite slow. I would love to add up all the time I have spent waiting for a web page to download or email attachment to come through (I think I would be quite shocked at the results).
4. Time Out
It’s important to get away from clients, deadlines and computers. Taking time out means you can return to a project with a new enthusiasm and a clear head. However, with my new iphone, I not only take my mobile but my entire digital world everywhere I go, resulting in a feeling that all I do is work.
5. Social Outcast
Friends and family have had no problems so far with me whipping out my iphone when an email comes through, but I think if someone did the same to me I would be quite shocked and find them quite rude, so am I soon to become a social outcast? Will I be the geek that nobody wants to go out with? Always talking about work (or the new lightsaber app that I have just downloaded - try it - it’s cool!)
Now don’t get me wrong, the functionality and features of the iPhone are truly excellent and there has been a few ‘lifesaver’ moments already, but should I really be worrying about whether a blog article has been posted or an email sent outside of work hours? Or has graphic design finally become a 24/7 industry?
How do you feel about your Digital world? Are you able to detach and embrace reality, or do you prefer a virtual world?
Posted by Steve