Walking the Technology Tightrope

There’s a new injury popping up in emergency clinics around the world…  People everywhere are walking into traffic, bumping into parked cars, stumbling, and just generally getting hurt from not watching where they’re going.  The villain?  Texting while walking.

It’s just the latest in what I’m calling Cyborg Morphing.  Rick Mercer says it best in this video (thanks to JD in Winnipeg for suggesting it).

I can’t remember the last time I was in my car without a bluetooth device firmly implanted in one ear — or in the airport without searching for a comfortable seat next to an electrical outlet to recharge a battery.  Like many, I use my Blackberry as a daily alarm clock which means it lives next to my bed and I get to see the red flashing “email waiting” indicator at night as I’m drifting off to sleep (in case you’re wondering, I don’t check email in the middle of the night). 

At a recent sports event I saw at least 20% of the parents in the crowd displaying typical Blackberry posture — head down thumbs flying — as they worked their smart phones.  One parent told me she might be distracted by work from time to time but portable technology for her means the difference between being able to attend or being stuck in front of her laptop in an office and completely missing the event.

PDAs and smart phones are blurring the line between work hours and downtime.  What have technological advances done for you and what behaviours have you found to successfully balance on the technology tightrope?

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