By Sven Larsen (@zemoga)
How much time do you spend in the digital space every day?
Do you even know?
I’m writing this while returning from a two-day summit meeting in our Bogota office. We take these get togethers pretty seriously so there’s a 100% focus rule while they’re going on. That means no cell phones, no computers or Internet, no input of any sort except the speaker or conversation that’s taking place at that moment. And I have to admit sticking to that kind of discipline is hard.
The digital embargo was de facto enforced on us when we were out for social events as well. Most of us aren’t down in Colombia often enough to justify international calling plans and we all had our data roaming turned off to avoid huge charges (When is someone going to come up with a way to fix that problem? I’m looking at you Skype!). I found myself growing resentful about the lack of connection.
What do you mean I can’t talk to my fiancée for as long as I want? What do you mean I can’t text my colleague our planned dinner location? What do you mean I can’t check the Olympic Hockey score (it’s Canada-Russia!)?
It made me realize how little we live in one environment or place these days. Even when I’m sitting in my office in NYC, a small portion of my attention may be down in Bogota or out in Brooklyn, or even in Vancouver wondering just how good the Slovakian hockey team really is. Somehow, multitasking went from being a buzzword to standard operating procedure for my daily life.
And I’m old enough to remember a time when this wasn’t the norm. There’s a whole generation of digital natives who live in multiple environments (whether real or virtual) and don’t give it a second thought.
And you know what? It gets me excited to think about what’s coming next. Forget the personal jet pack. I want online access everywhere. I want cell phones and mobile devices that aren’t held back by national carriers or proprietary devices. I want access to massive media databases and damnit, I want to know the hockey score whether I’m in Bogota, Colombia or Bogota, New Jersey. Heck, I want to be able to watch the game!
Ultimately, what I want is to remain connected to what Seth Godin would call my “tribe”. I want to be able to reach out to my friends, family, colleagues and countrymen wherever I am. I want to know that the ties that bond us together can be reinforced and supplemented by technology and that the means to do that are only going to get better.
Guess you can see why I work for a digital innovation firm, huh?
What’s getting you excited in the digital space these days? What do you want to see come next?