Enabling Fresh Air

Many millions of words have been written on how mobile technology is enslaving modern society. Your boss knows that your iPhone and by extension, you - are available 24/7, at the tap of a send key. You are never off duty, blah, blah etc. 

I have never subscribed to this point of view. The responsibility of when and how you interact with others is a responsibility that lays clearly with the individual, not the device. In the pre Blackberry days, if your boss wanted you urgently he/she could phone you at home. If you took that call, uncomplainingly, every night - it would soon turn into a regular, normal occurrence. And so it is with whether you choose to respond to emails sent to you at inconvenient times or if you respond to unreasonable requests rather than ignore them. 

As I have watched mobile technology develop over the last decade or so I have had a growing dream, or more accurately an aspiration, that we would get to a state of advance where mobile tech would enable me to work truly anywhere. I dreamed that with my Apple Newton, my Palm Pilot, my Psion, even my original Sony laptops connected through an IR modem to a clunky Nokia phone. None of these solutions really worked. Almost always they created more work, less productivity, and more hassle than the choice of not using them but I persevered with each of them and many more (I'm looking at you HP pocket PC).

Today, I and my family climbed 2700 metres to here:



 When we got there, whilst they ate their lunch and read their books in the sun, I whipped out my iPad Air from my Grivel Rocksac and knocked off an hours work. 

It weighed nothing, it was perfectly on the network thanks to Swiss Telecoms, and I never gave a second thought to having enough battery. 

The dream has landed. It's empowering, not enslaving to have such tools at our disposal. They free time, rather than steal it - if used in the right way. If that isn't happening then it can only be through a lack of imagination, process or discipline.

Tomorrow we are going to try another ascent of a different peak. I can do it relaxed and focussed in the knowledge that if any thing important happens at work, I can deal with it once I'm on the summit. 

I'm 180 degrees away from thinking that modern devices erode freedom or personal time. At some point in the last couple of years we have crossed a rubicon where we have moved from an age of communal commerce to an age of individual mobility.

If that allows one extra day in a mountain cathedral like this. It can't be a bad thing.