How Connectedness creates drag in the real world

I recently read a news piece about a restaurant that had the desire to compare 2004 and 2014 Customer Service in their place of business. They’d become concerned over a negative change in the customer ratings of their restaurant in regards to service time. Luckily for them they had inadvertently retained one tapes’ worth of security camera footage for each of their cameras. And could compare the average customer visits and times for the various stages of their experience. You can read about that here.

The take away from that piece is that the average visit had nearly doubled from 1:05 to 1:55 and mostly the change had to do with the time that people spent using their phones AND time conscripting the serving staff into being adhoc network tech support AND/OR photographers for the customers. Meaning that the customers not only spent more time there but they also used up more serving staff time with things the 2004 servers never had to deal with.

The phones and tablets that keep us connected also increasingly disconnect us from the real world our bodies happen to occupy at any given moment.
When that happens in a restaurant it can generate a sort of friction in the machinery of face-to-face social experience as well as be annoying to those around you.
When that happens to someone behind the controls of a vehicle it can be deadly.

I wonder if anyone in the psychology / sociology fields have been tracking how much of the average humans’ time is spent on what activities in what sequence under which conditions (home/work/play/travel) so that we could see how things have changed for us.
30 years ago hardly anyone had a mobile phone and even 20 years ago the cell phone was just a phone.

Now we have always on, always connected, windows into the World Wide Web / TV / Phone living on the internet. These devices and connections have also become our on-demand infotainment delivery systems that never leaves us.

On Demand.
Which aspect of the human mentality comes to mind when you mouth those words; On Demand … to me it invokes the Ego.
So we have this nearly magical device that is constantly there at the beck and call of our Ego …

Addictive behaviour comes to mind.

I wonder what is must be like to hold a conversation with some ‘I can multi-task just fine’ person who’s wearing Google’s Glass technology. You’d likely have to watch them closely to see when they’re ‘there with you‘ and when they are ‘on the network‘ consuming some piece of infotainment sugar. Or they might adopt some sort of hand gesturing code to let you know when you’re on hold and they’re online and vice versa.

We never had to do any of that in the not so recent past.

It’s like they invented space/time travel
and let everyone take the trip to this new world
with all this new stuff
and we’ve all got to figure it out as we go
but it keeps changing
faster than our social and governmental systems can.

Our Culture is surfing a rising tide of change.
Let’s hope it’s a good surfer …

Remember Alvin Toffler‘s Future Shock?

He talked about the increasing pace of change radically changing existing society through shocks to people due to their inabilities to cope with that pace (of change).

Back around 1969 I read a futurist sort of publication. I think on of the big oil companies funded it.ย  In this a prediction of sorts was made that went along with some things I’d learned already. It’s quite neat really … if you want to be present at a cusp in history that is.

Take all the knowledge gathered and learned by Man from the beginning up to 1900 AD and call that a Unit Of Knowledge. In the next 45 years or so we doubled it to 2 Units. Then by 1957 we did that again. As time passes and more minds are put to work on more problems with better equipment and funding we make more progress faster. The specific years are approximate in my memory but the increasing rate of change is what is the point. The oil company funded futurist publication pointed at curves of progressive knowledge in various fields of human endeavour and sometime in the next few years most of them are going vertical …

Just like that old Chinese wish / curse: We Are All Living In Interesting Times.


About xamble

Most things I do involve computers. Nowadays that sounds stupid to hear because everyone uses computers. Except I was saying that before the IBM PC came on the scene. (hint: my first programs were entered on punch cards in an IBM-29) Now I mostly use them. Mostly to provide a community service in my small town. Because I could when it was asked and still can. And I'm a wannabe writer. Various books in various states of incompleteness. A few short stories. Might do more of that.
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