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Why I like swimming …

After reading recently that Virgin Media has won the WIFI contract for the London tube network we started having a bit of a rant at jag towers about how much time we spend checking emails on our smart phones. We also feel quite strongly that there are few places left where you can get away from the demanding mobile – yours and other people’s!

So what is the latest wheeze? Well, we will now all have internet access on tube station platforms, ticket offices and escalators http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17373523. Brilliant I hear you say…. But is it brilliant?

Do we all really need more spaces where we can check in our every move on Facebook and be hounded by emails outside of office hours?

Silence is golden

24 hour communication has opened up new expectations from employers, clients, colleagues, family, friends and, most importantly, ourselves. Many of us feel we should be there to answer a question, or check on what colleagues are doing. We feel we should be constantly available all day every day and this isn’t healthy. It is certainly not good for our mental health!

Does opening ourselves up to constant communication, wherever we are, at whatever time of day, really make us communicate more efficiently or is it actually causing us to spend too much time checking up and making sure everything is okay that we can’t actually switch off?

How many people do you know who feel insecure if they leave their mobile at home by mistake or if the battery runs out unexpectedly?

There is no doubt, it is great that when we are out of the office and sitting on the train, in the car, out at lunch, in a shop we can check our emails, chat to our friends on Facebook, update Twitter and communicate with thousands of people around the world at any given time. This has meant that communication is fast paced, makes doing business much quicker and more efficient and keeps us all in easy contact, which is a good thing.

This was first pinned by @CatTurner on Pinterest www.pin.st/cipr

But have we not taken this to the extremes? So many people have become surgically attached to their device! Are we forgetting the art of face to face communication?

The problem is that now many people tend to start reading their emails, checking Facebook etc when at the gym, at home watching TV, out with the family at dinner, and even when they are on holiday! We shouldn’t all feel we need to be in constant contact with the world all the time. Or should we?

Don’t just reply to the email because it is there! Communicate smartly and effectively. The use of this technology should mean we spend less time texting, emailing, Facebooking and Tweeting. Communication should be quicker and efficient – we should not become slaves to it. Do you really need to reply to that email now, or can it wait until tomorrow morning when you are back in the office?

The spaces where there is no WIFI access or phone signal is a welcome retreat. It’s nice to know we can sit on the Tube and have a 15 minute breather from a world of constant social connection (not for long!). This – as I state in the title – is why I love swimming. For 50 minutes I am mobile free. No music, no emails, no facebook, no Twitter, just social silence!

 

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