Staying Connected, But @ What Price?

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

DATELINE — Someplace Outside Chicago.  People have asked what inspires me to write this blog. Well, there are three fundamental reasons:

1. Need to Communicate:  I’m a communicator by profession and this is a platform to do just that.

2. Because I Can: Need I say more?

3. The World Around Me: I get inspired by what I see and hear.

This post was triggered by #3.

Perhaps someday, the Smithsonian Institution will want these digital relics to show future generations what portable devices were like many years ago.

Perhaps someday, the Smithsonian Institution will want these digital relics to show future generations what portable devices were like many years ago.

Earlier this week, a chance encounter at O’Hare International Airport prompted me to wonder: In this world now and forever changed by digital sources of communications, just how connected to we have to be?

Case in point: The young man with the stylish Mohawk (or was it a Faux Hawk?) haircut sitting near me at Gate L8.

This gentleman was communicating –sometimes simultaneously, sometimes not — on three devices: A laptop (Macbook, of course), tablet (iPad) and (you guessed it) iPhone.

What he was communicating and to whom, I did not ascertain.  However, he was good at it. Wish I could tweet that fast.

Note from the image at left, that I, too have embraced technology while traveling.  In the photo you’ll see my four-year-old Dell Studio (with srs PREMIUM SOUND!), a first-generation iPod Shuffle (with metal carrying case and original ear buds) and my trusty  BlackBerry Curve.

A slave to the “must-have-the-latest” technology, I am not.

But I recognize the value and need to communicate and be kept informed these days. I do, however, question is it really necessary to be connected all the time.  Not sure about Mr. Mohawk, but I was heading out of town on vacation.

That raised other questions.

Do I really need my laptop? (Well, you wouldn’t be reading this if I failed to lug it along.)

Where am I? No, it's not Normal, Illinois.

Where am I? No, it’s not Normal, Illinois.

Will I actually work?  (I’ve checked office messages and replied to work-related stuff many times.)

Is because of the preponderance technology plays in our lives today, will those who grew up with a handheld or tablet know what it’s like not to have one?

Will the “art of conversation” be a lost art to future generations?

I don’t know the answers to the above, but I do know I’m going to stop this online communication now, stroll by the waterfront and later have some sushi and a beer.  Maybe two beers. I don’t plan to tweet about it or post images on Instagram.

And, I won’t have this laptop tethered to my arm.

One more thing: Where am I? Check out the photo at right and guess.  No fair if you follow me on Facebook.


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