Sunday, November 13, 2005

Technology and Life

Ever wonder how people got work done a few years ago, a decade, a century ago ?

I carry a laptop, a palm treo 600, another cellphone for use in the US, and am considering an MP3 player.

I switched from a desktop to a laptop from about 1998. Because i wanted to be able to keep all my stuff in one place. My consulting work had me moving to different clients sites and the laptop ensured that all my stuff moved with me. But quickly what this meant was that, i was working at home, during weekends, but the consolation was i could do it at home.

My cellphone, which replaced a pager, enables me to stay in touch with anyone, anytime from virtually anywhere. But it also meant that i was reachable anytime too. Soon there was only number i needed to give people out. My cellphone number. Although it is technically possible to carry this one number all over the world, i think it doesnt make financial sense, and so i have two cellphone #, one for the US and one for India. I am sure, i will abandon one of these numbers in about a years time.

The weirdest thing, is that, my lifestyle hasnt improved drastically because of these technologies. The biggest pain i have is the ability of people to reach me. I just cant hide anymore. There used to be a time, when i could be on vacation and people simply waited till i return back to my desk, before they bugged me with stuff. Oh then the laptop, takes this interference a step forward, by allowing me to login to my corporate lan, from my home or other network accessible hotspots. To ensure that i dont loose touch or break the umbilical cord with the mother ship, my Treo 600, has a worldwide GPRS connection allowing me to check email and read webmail and other websites in case of emergency.

All these technologies which were supposed to make life better and improve quality of life has had a detrimental effect instead. No, i am not completely dismissing the benefits of these technologies. But, as always, every choice you make in life comes at a cost. There is 'no free lunch' as they say around here.

Tags: technology, treo 600, laptop, lifestyle, cellphone

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