On my phone and on my iPad I find my self never really disconnected. The last time in fact I went even 24 hours without checking, responding and doing something online was more than 230 days ago when I was on a cruise in the Caribbean. I get my email sent to my phone, I respond to customer requests at 11PM on a Friday night and I am diligent in keeping up this blog, my Social Profiles and connecting with as many people as I can. What am I getting out of all this EXTRA work?
I truly feel we are at a cross roads in our cultural and technological age that we are approaching true information deluge. I personally have over 3 TB of data that ranges from my movie and music collection to nearly 80 GB of PDF books on hundreds of topics. I have built out a fairly robust Internal Cloud so that regardless of where I am in the world…if there is an internet connection I can access all of this content. That is impressive to say the least…but also more than just a little scary when you think about it…I am never without the access to all the information, data and content that I have spent the last 16 years compiling.
My co-workers and managers at work keep telling me that I am an anomaly but am I that far out of the norm? The average person has a mobile phone that has hundreds of unedited photos that document a history, the contact list on most peoples phones are the only way that they can communicate (remember the days when you would actually have to remember your mom’s phone number?) and just like me…digital music collections account for a substantial investment.
So when I chose to adopt a truly Always On Real Time Access (AORTA) philosophy and connect every device I have (not only to my internal network) but to an external provider that acts as a proxy for streaming the content that I want access to when I want access to it (so that I don’t have to leverage 3TB of storage in the cloud) I really became part of a different type of Cloud…my Personal Cloud is truly bigger than yours…and I love it.
What has made this option for each of us to build an internal cloud in a manner that we can have seamless access to content as long as there is a data connection? Well…over the last several years the improvements in wired line data communications have started to give way to the world of super fast wireless connections.
The image above illustrates just how quickly mobile broadband has caught up to the incumbent broadband providers in speed…and as the cost/bit continues to drop…the fact that mobile infrastructure is significantly more affordable than rewiring cities and countries…the future is looking even more connected.
But the reality is…Always On Real Time Access comes at a price. There are many times that I think…I don’t need to check my email right now…and then the beep of another downloaded message calls me.
So back to my opening question…What do I get out of all this extra Work? Regardless of my education level or room for advancement…I have become a digital expert. I have immersed myself in technology for good or bad because…well…knowledge is power. I enjoy the fact that I am a trusted partner to the people I work with…colleagues and customers alike. For litterally dozens of people…they turn to me either 1st or 2nd (after Google) because I provide context and relevance to what they are looking for…that is a pretty cool feeling.
Will I take another “digital break”…I am not sure if I could now…bring on the brain interface and Star Trek Communicator…and no I will not make the leap over to Apple so that I can use Siri…Iris and Skyvi are much more appealing to me (at least until the Google Assistant is released.
Chris J Powell