Saturday, February 19, 2011

Are you tethered to your laptop?

Is the Web your virtual cage?

Twelve years ago, I got my first very own desktop and my first very own dial up connection. With a 60 hour per month dial up internet plan. Sitting in front of my desktop for a few hours a day, became part of my daily ritual. When WiFi became widely widely available in 2005, it became sufficient incentive to get a my first personally owned laptop, and my daily ritual became mobile. After that, I jumped into the 3G bandwagon, giving me even more connectivity options.

From browsing my favorite sites for purely purposes of entertainment, trolling my favorite forums,  connecting to friends around the world via instant messengers, to more "serious" activities like keeping tab of my business contacts via email, following the news and using online commerce to get the best deals. After six years plugged into my desktop, for the past six (6) years I feel like I am tethered to my laptop. 

I am no power user. I do not spend my time downloading content by torrent. For entertainment, I still like cable TV, frequenting the theaters and interacting with the real world.  Now, I have more time to do this.

When my carrier offered unlimited data plans combined with call and SMS functions, it cut this twelve year umbilical cord. Using Twitter to follow my favorite sites, instead of browsing my favorite sites to see what is new, I get to follow a mobile phone during times of day which were "wasted" before. I get the news  through my mobile phone too. I do not have to take time to find a place to flip open my laptop and connect to the internet to check my Gmail box. 

While sitting in a conference room waiting for a meeting, waiting for my wife in the parking lot of the school where she teaches, while having a haircut and those other idle times of the day, that is the time now used to stay connected to the World Wide Web. The more productive use of "idle" time gives me back the two hours hour per days I used spend staring into a CRT monitor and a laptop LCD screen, and spend more time here...

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