Hyperconnectivity…is it becoming a disease?

Posted: October 7, 2008 in blogging, computers
Tags: , ,

As i woke this morning, and after letting out the dogs, stumbled over to my Mac and checked my email, twitter, facebook.. etc, and then my blackberry, for im’s, messenger messages, emails, it struck me. i’m addicted to being connected. It is a morning ritual to check in on so many services and places and devices, and that list keeps growing. Am i suffering from hyper-connectivty?

From Wikipedia:

Hyperconnectivity is a term invented by Canadian social scientists Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman, arising from their studies of person-to-person and person-to-machine communication in networked organizations and networked societies. The term refers to the use of multiple means of communication, such as Email,Instant messaging, Telephone, face-to-face contact and Web 2.0 information services

Yep, that sounds like me. As of yet i don’t think it’s been classified as a disease or a syndrome, but i have to believe it is an addiction. The need to be connected, informed, and for some reason to make others aware of what you are doing is driving a change in how we interact with each other and does to some extent, go back to an earlier post about safety and providing too much information about yourself. Aside from the safety issues with regards to identity theft there is also the sheer amount of network traffic being generated by numerous people with the need to let everyone know they are pumping gas, going to the store, twiddling their thumbs clockwise now instead of counter-clockwise… etc. This information bogs down the internet and servers which is already getting bogged down by spam and the forwarding and reforwarding of email jokes and the like. We have become a society of virtual polluters, spewing forth anything and everything that crosses our minds in the hopes that someone may find it interesting.

I guess i kinda got off topic there a bit, i have a habit of doing that – non-linear thinking – i blame the welsh side of the family for that, but again i digress… My point is this, we are a society that has the ability to stay in contact at all times, which from a safety standpoint is a good thing. You are driving and have an accident, you can call someone for help on your cel. You are heading to a meeting and its cancelled – you can be alerted via txt message or email and not waste time, money and natural resources, GPS’s alert you to upcoming traffic problems, road closures, etc, the benefits are nearly endless. The thing is, do we need to be so connected and is it stressing us out when we are not? A friend asked me last week if i could live without computers. Without a pause i replied, No. Sadly i think most of society is the same, we are very dependent on computers for so much in our lives, and as the world becomes more connected and technology allows us to take those same connections and information along with us mobily we are never spending any time alone anymore. Remember the old days of driving in the car, basically cut off from the world and just listening to the radio? no cel phones, no txt messages, just you and the occupants of the car and the open road. Sure its nice to know what is going on, and i for one do feel stressed when i am not carrying my crackberry with me, but i think i may just try and spend a little more time without it and try to enjoy the world around me, at least as much as i can see of it with my eyes and hear with my ears – i bet there is life going on all around me and i don’t need to watch it on a lcd screen.

Interestingly, Hyperconnectivity is also defined as… “Hyperconnectivity is used in medical terminology to explain billions and billions of neurons creating excessive connections, within the brain associated with schizophrenia

Excessive connections. Yep, thats me too. Not the schizophrenia part, at least i don’t think so, let me ask my other selves and see what they say as soon as they stop checking their email and texting.  And yes, i see the irony in writing about excessive connectivity in a blog, so you can hold off on those comments, thanks.  Now, i’m off to take a walk in the yard with the dogs, they seem to get along just fine with only their senses, although i swear my one dog keeps looking at pictures on the internet, how else do you explain the bookmarks i keep finding?

tcg

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Comments
  1. […] is beginning to sound a bit like a previous post of mine about hyper-connectivity, but really this is more about the ability to be proficient in all these programs than the shear […]

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