As I have seen in my tenure here in college the use and necessity of cell phones and facebook has exploded. This past weekend, I went on a trip to California to ASU take on (and summarily get slaughtered by) the USC Trojans with the ASU Marching band. Upon reaching our hotel in Chino Hills, I realized that I had forgotten my phone charger cord. To make matters worse I had forgotten my MacBook Daphne’s (yes I have named my laptop) power cord. I was without my two main means to access my online, mobile life. It was a rough Friday Night/Saturday to say the least.
Upon returning home I plugged both of my dead pieces of technology in and turned them on to find my inboxes full of messages, my facebook lit up with new tags and updates. I literally felt “plugged in” in to what was going on again. Does anyone else ever feel like this? I feel as if the internet has become one of my senses, the new “sixth sense” so to speak, because it is definitely a conduit for which raw information enters into my system. But as a few bloggers have brought up, are these mediums taking hold and being exploited correct? Are mobile phones and facebook and email novelties that will soon wear off as I grow older?
As I was looking through the PR blogosphere for something to talk about for this week, I came across the Intake blog. The past few posts have been on communication with employees and topics relating to this–which struck me seeing as how I was cut off from my main avenues of communication for a whole day (a day I know, but I felt so disconnected).
In a blog on Facebook.com entitled Face It by Matt West, discusses how what once was a medium for college students has quickly become and is the new intranet that many workplaces are quickly exploiting for their own internal communications (and if they are not now, then they should do so.) The idea that Facebook.com has become this new way to learn more about your own company and employees when just a short time ago, it was seen as an unprofessional, youth oriented site. I find this very interesting, because I feel like I am always being told of the dangers of online sites like Facebook.com and Myspace.com–that people post too much information on there and that one should be careful of their online media foot print. It almost makes me afraid to participate in it and I have set my profile’s security settings to some of the highest they can be–blocking everyone except my friends from seeing my profile and not even allowing people from my networks to see my profile picture in a search for me unless they are already my friend. I mean I guess I am not as protective as I should be with over 700 friends, but still, does any one else feel this protective of their online self?
In another post on this blog, Reaching Mobile Employees, by Allen Putman, the idea of the many avenues of communication that are used to reach employees in the company setting. To go back to my anecdote of this weekend, how out of touch would someone with a blackberry or iPhone connected to their email and such feel if they would have left home without their charger? As stated in the blog, email was not enough in the beginning because people get easily overwhelmed with all the spam out there that if it does not immediately capture the readers attention, no matter who it is from, they will just delete the message and move on (as we have discussed in class). But with the advent of the iPhone and the blackberry, people’s lives are now in their pocket and the internet is never further away than an arms reach. As Allen Putman states, with the advent of online boarding passes and electronic versions being set straight to your mobile phone, the new form of communication has finally been achieved…but I just want to ask has it? Because how long before the novelty has worn off? Interning in D.C. this summer in a Congressman’s office, I saw that the blackberry was viewed as a ball and chain and kept you in the office perpetually 24hrs a day (a sentiment that I do not yet share, not that I have a blackberry, iPhone or any other email capable phone for that matter)…how long before the effectiveness of this new form of communicating wears off?