Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The ties that separate

In this day and age in the business world, your team members are usually scattered all over the world. Conference calls, IM, email are how you all talk to one another. But sometimes we depend too much on the digital world, and it doesn't bring us together, but instead pulls us apart a bit, and sometimes in very funny ways.

I sat in a meeting today with people in Boston, Chicago, and Detroit. At least those are the cities where I knew there were people. There could have been others in other cities, too; I had no way of knowing.

Three-quarters of the way through an hour-long meeting, one guy in Detroit asked someone else who normally is in Detroit where he was, and lo and behold, he also was in Detroit. The first person then said, oh yeah, I can see you. Up until that point, neither person knew that the other one was within view of the other.

And some people might think this little story is funny, but I think it's pretty darn sad. They could have been sitting together, collaborating during the meeting, getting more information via personal contact. And it also exemplifies a general behavior in society in general. I think that while the digital age is bringing the farthest reaches of the planet together, for instance people in as far away places as Patagonia can communicate with people in the United States, the closer we are geographically, the more it separates us, as shown by my two co-workers sitting in nearby cubes.

No comments:

Web Analytics