Commentary on Connectedness

This morning I jotted down some thoughts about our state of connectedness, the improvements and advancements in technology (e.g., smartphones) and websites/applications (e.g., Facebook) that enable us to be more connected and in tune with one another and with available information, and the misconception that being more connected means we should be more available.

I posit that there isn’t a positive correlation between increased connectedness and increased availability, but rather a positive correlation between increased connectedness and the option to increase one’s availability.

For example, if I took a trip to Vail Colorado to ski in 1963, the year after the resort opened, and you wanted to call me, you’d have to call the lodge at which I was staying. If I was in the lodge, I might be able to take your call. However, if I was skiing, then I would be unavailable. That situation is, more or less, a binary situation: available or not available.

Today, I have an iPhone on me at most times. As before, you can try to reach me at anytime. However, unlike before, your expectation that I’m available, able, and willing to receive the call is greatly increased because even when I’m not in the lodge, I have the technically ability to receive a phone call (or text, etc.). Therein lies the misconception on the part of the caller (you) that the receiver (me) is more available now than in 1963. Instead, I now has the option to be more available, but also, to your frustration, the option to be less available.


In light of the above, the recent story that “in an action unprecedented in Internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet.” There is loss of internet and sms capability, apparently. That’s one way to quell the expectation of availability.

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Attorney & Amateur Golfer