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We’re living in the age of being connected or reachable 24 hours a day by one device or another. Is this a good thing?

47 Comments
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If you check, all these devices have an off switch.

30 ( +34 / -4 )

Turn off my phone during sleep. If I am in a meeting I also turn it off. But having a family living in many countries and time zones I want them to be able to reach me. Even with landlines, people can phone 24/7.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

"A mobile phone is a device for turning solitude into servitude."

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Do you allow your phone to control you or do you control your phone?

17 ( +19 / -2 )

That's me and my washing machine!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's not a good thing because some idiots don't have sense of respect of others' personal space/time.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Yes, it’s a good thing; the world is smaller, we’re connected/closer to each other and I think that will always be a good thing; human nature tells us that we need each other…; plus, you can always turn it all off if you want, whenever you want, wherever you want (I wouldn’t say 24/7 but still…); you have that option, you make your own rules.

wallaceToday  09:02 am JST

Do you allow your phone to control you or do you control your phone?

Exactly.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is a two way street. It also gives you the opportunity to contact others 24/7.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

These devices keeps the entire world connected. Only members the Flat Earther Society think otherwise.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

While I/we remain tactile, and autonomously mobile, or until have physiological digital interface, the way we are is the way we are - switched off unconnected until we decide to have a device, switch something on and connect.

In the end, humans are still detached till they choose not to be.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Being connected with device is mostly convenient and helpful to make our lives better, the connections with Internet through devices in particular. However, such we can get such benefits as long as we can control how we are being connected. If we were out of control of how we are connected, we would get disadvantages more than advantages.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Being able to call emergency services or alert someone when injured is now an important part of smartphones.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I'm only connected when I feel like being connected.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The nature of my job requires extensive reliance on staying connected, especially since I also have to travel a lot. The fact that my friends and family are spread over continents also makes staying connected important. But I do miss the old days of no internet and smartphones, probably it is just nostalgia, but it was less useful and more peaceful.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Being connected is fine but increasingly people define their reality and existence by their social media connections and this may be a hindrance in finding a personal identity and meaningful balance in this journey we call life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is a different between between available/connected by a mobile "phone" and today's smartphones.

No one would call at 3:00 (AM) in Japan or from another country, 90% checked the time before calling and originally it cost quite a bit to call for Europe, North America, etc.. so people only did so when really needed.

But today no one checks messaging, text, email, voice call over messaging services any hours of the day any day of the week and they often get upset if you do not reply immediately.

People have lost simple courtesy.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Being able to call emergency services or alert someone when injured is now an important part of smartphones.

Yes, indeed. Broke my leg in Shikoku mountains last year and was hoisted up to a helicopter less than 90 minutes later.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

But today no one checks messaging, text, email, voice call over messaging services any hours of the day any day of the week and they often get upset if you do not reply immediately.

People have lost simple courtesy.

This is very true if you work in customer services. You will get one e-mail at 11:30pm Japan time and then a angry followup at 8am asking why you've not replied. Maybe that's okay in mission-critical financial services or something, but not for a reservation for something that costs a few thousand yen and is being made weeks in advance. Sometimes its not possible to respond immediately to prospective customers because we are providing the actual service to actual customers.

We get messages like that off a request form that specifically says "we are a two-man company and cannot respond immediately". We had to take the phone number and WhatsApp off our website because people's expectations were ridiculous. Many of our requests and enquiries include questions that are answered in full on our website, if people took the time to read it instead of typing out questions.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's all about how you use it. Turn off notifications for example, and as the first comment above says, all of these devices have off switches

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@wallaceToday 03:04 pm JST

Being able to call emergency services or alert someone when injured is now an important part of smartphones.

Try being deaf and unable to use one. I had to crawl to a neighbour's when a lung suddenly collapsed in mid-December, at 5:30AM, and hardly breathing was able to pound on the door, have them call an ambulance and then spend a week in hospital.

No, cell phones are not the answer to emergencies, especially for older people (whose hearing, in the main, deteriorates markedly).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

TrevorPeace

there are devices that the deaf and mute can use. There are also devices for elderly people which we used with our own elderly parents.

The majority of people are not deaf or mute so the smartphone is a good device.

I am very elderly and still have 100% of my hearing.

There are apps for smartphones for the deaf to use in an emergency. You can also wear an Apple watch which is better.

https://hearinghealthfoundation.org/blogs/accessing-911-crisis-emerging-tool-deaf

You need to set yourself to avoid those situations. You could also install an alarm to warn your neighbors when something is wrong.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Try being deaf and unable to use one. I had to crawl to a neighbour's when a lung suddenly collapsed in mid-December, at 5:30AM, and hardly breathing was able to pound on the door, have them call an ambulance and then spend a week in hospital.

No, cell phones are not the answer to emergencies, especially for older people (whose hearing, in the main, deteriorates markedly).

So because they don't work as well if you're deaf, they're no good for anyone? Forgive me if I don't understand that logic.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Being deaf will stop you using the smartphone as a phone, but it doesn't make it useless in an emergency.

You can set an iPhone to call emergency services or an emergency contact by just pressing the side and volume buttons.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's facile to say there is an off switch. There is now more expectation that you are contactable and can soon reply.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Turning the phone off before bed is a great idea.

I really don't know why I have kept it on.

Other than that I love the technology.

To be able to control the thermostat, to have an accurate reading of my heartbeat during workout, to be able to remote start my car on a cold winter morning are all things that I can do from my phone.

What's not to like ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes. Overall, tech availability benefits a lot, provided that people are also given the choice (to use or not to use them at will, at ease).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Folks working in hospitality and folks working for unsympathetic bosses may not have the option of turning a device off.

If I were staying in an AIrBnB I would expect the host to be reachable 24/7 in case of emergencies. For me, that is basic hospitality I would expect even at the cheapest backpackers lodge. The problem is when others contact the same person at 3:30am with "we're coming tomorrow for one night only, and since it's last minute, give us 50% off" type messages. In that situation, I have every sympathy with the host. Such messages deserve to be blocked or ignored. An AirBnb owner has the option of having two phones, one which gets switched off, but some people working in regular jobs can't do this. Their bosses and companies expect them to answer emails at all hours. Not doing so is a sackable offence.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If I had a phone for work then I leave it in my desk drawer when I go home or turn it off when I am not being paid.

As an engineer, at times, I was paid to be on standby and needed to be ready to work if requested and to be able to be contacted. When not paid then no.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Wallace..Do you allow your phone to control you or do you control your phone?

That ! my dear Wallace is the question.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No - bad thing. My phone goes on its stand before 10pm if I'm at home and on silent. At the weekend , I sometimes don't even look at the notifications until after lunchtime. My iPad is a far more useful tool to catch up with the news or to decide what Sport to watch at that time.

Three people (yes, 3) have my landline in case of emergency. The only reason anyone needs me that urgently is if someone in my family is dying. No one has ever complained to me about a late reply, because anyone worth knowing will happily wait.

If my company asked me to be contactable 24/7 then they can (and do for some) happily pay for the contract.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The iPhone has “focus” when you set the phone according to your needs, like work, play, sleep.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When I came to Japan it took a week for a letter to reach my birth country and then another week for a reply. It cost ¥1,000 a minute to phone so that was impractical. Therefore, I find it very convenient now to be able to contact people abroad, although not necessarily 24 hours a day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

as does the (in my opinion, far superior) Samsung Galaxy Series of phones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

theResident

as does the (in my opinion, far superior) Samsung Galaxy Series of phones.

Good for you but not suitable for me because I need all my devices to sync together. I was just giving an example of the phones I know.

My phone goes into sleep mode after 11 pm until 7 am unless an emergency call from a registered family member.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You can sync your Calendar, Contacts, Smart Products, Apple Music, Internet Favourites across Android/iOS/OS devices very simply.

I dislike the iPhone as it it's too propietery, there see many functions that an iphone with a SIM card are literally not allowed to do. However, I love the iPad and the Apple TV which is by far and away the best quality streaming device out there...but whose location can only be 'faked' by, guess what? An Android device with developer options enabled. A VPN is not enough by itself for YouTubeTV (the proper full fat cord cutter version).

I wouldn't be able to use my Sky Stream from the UK for the same reason. Plus, ever tried sideloading a geo locked app on an Apple Device? Without multiple accounts... Good luck.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I wouldn't be able to use my Sky Stream from the UK for the same reason. Plus, ever tried sideloading a geo locked app on an Apple Device? Without multiple accounts... Good luck.

I've never needed to or even thought about it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I turn my internet router off at night. It goes off several times during the day too, as the service is poor. I only turn my (feature) phone on when I need to make a call with it and don't use a smartphone in the UK. I only use text messaging for 2FA. I don't use chat systems, have never used Zoom and rarely answer online messages within 24 hours. I work using e-mail. Only my landline is on 24/7. I am unreachable when I am eating, sleeping, watching DVDs or football on the TV, gardening, surfing or otherwise busy, as I do not like to be disturbed when I am not working.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes, a good thing, if it was even true. In fact, all those devices and connections don’t even work at all or not properly when most needed, in less populated areas, mountains, under natural disaster conditions, or if your knife wielding stalker is already 2 meters behind you. That’s the problem here, not when a few crazy bosses make a call at 10 pm, those few cases can be avoided by the employees themselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Except for very specific situations (emergency respondent on shift for example) not. It is a development that have a negative effect on mental health between other things and have to be regulated carefully.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seinfeld said it best - give people time to miss you

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They all have an OFF switch, it is your choice to use it or not...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't know who would say "No". The question isn't prefaced with "...where you can be contacted 24/7 against your will". You can choose to turn the devices off and NOT be contacted. On the flip side, though, imagine a loved one has suffered a fatal injury and you are in an age where you canNOT be reached because it's not an option. Better to have the option and not use it than not have it and need it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I make sure that only I checkup on things and people when I want.

Rest of the time, I leave technology items behind from phones to laptops.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As with so many advances, it's a mix. Personally, I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages (by a lot), particularly if, as another poster mentioned, you make sure it's you controlling your devices and not the other way 'round.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I voted "yes" but I don't think we should be using our communication devices all the time. I don't have a smartphone (just a flip phone) and I don't take it with me half the time.

But it is good to at least have the option of being reachable at all times. We just need to learn how to use it in moderation and only when it's necessary.

I see people sitting in groups of 3 or 4 at restaurants where no one is talking with one another, and they've all buried their noses in their smartphones. It's depressing to see that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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