Our lives are completely run by apps on our phones. Let me explain…
Every morning, I wake up and turn off the alarm on my phone. I then check my notifications, which usually consist of emails in my inbox, social media likes/comments, and messages from friends who think its socially acceptable to start a conversation at 3 AM. When I arrive at work, I frequently check Whatsapp in case my boss had to share something on the fly with me. Throughout the day, I browse Instagram, LinkedIn, and Buzzfeed. These “app breaks” are almost like those a smoker would take. Just being able to scroll mindlessly helps me decompress.
If there is something that humans value the most, it is their right to privacy. No matter what job they have, how much money they make, or how much of a social butterfly they might be – people enjoy being able to swaddle back into their personal cocoon and just exist without being bothered.
As someone who uses their phone as their device for primary contact, I bounce between seven social media/communication apps daily in order to connect with others. Yup, seven. While that might sound like a lot, each app has its own specific function and are split between personal and professional uses. For purely personal interactions, here are the apps I frequent: Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. On the professional side, you have: LinkedIn, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Altogether, that only adds up to six. The final app is Gmail, which teeters back and forth between professional/personal depending on which account I use.
Take a moment to think about your day. How many people did you call? Did you send off more emails than you received? When you politely disagreed with someone, did you furrow your brows? Whether you inherently notice it or not, humans are always communicating with one another. Through body language, vocalization, and specialized squiggles called “letters” we are able to transmit our ideas and feelings. Steady advancements in telecommunication through the 19th century to the present day allows us the option to choose the best delivery method and how exactly we will converse. Recently, industry experts have expressed worry that technology is overtaking our cultures and institutions because it develops so much quicker. How can we, as a society, be on a level playing field with objects that upgrade every year or so? (Here’s looking at you, Apple.)
Data is all around us. It is within the books you read, the numbers at work, and it resides in your personal life – hiding in your computer, bills, and cell phone. If you work in a modern corporate environment, you would know that “Big Data” is all the rage right now. Big data is essentially more complex data sets stemming from new data sources. By utilizing top-of-the-line technology, these massive volumes of data can help us solve problems that were once very difficult to define solutions for like operational efficiency, customer experience, and product development. In a very short amount of time, big data has become extremely important capital and drives some of the most successful tech companies today.
“The world is getting smaller!” declared one of my undergraduate marketing professors during my Marketing 102 course. While the earth isn’t physically becoming more diminutive as time passes, my professor wasn’t spewing drivel in his class. Our world is becoming smaller due to the fact that it no longer takes weeks to obtain information or to meet people. Computers and mobile devices have transitioned from professional tools to personal extensions. Because laptops and cell phones are so easily at disposal, people are constantly locked into the grid. While some are perturbed by the fact that they are reachable at all times, many of these individuals have had to deal with this type of intimate connectivity for their jobs. In Chapter 2 of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, author Cal Newport explores this new “Culture of Connectivity” and how the workplace has changed to accommodate it.