In "Over-thinking Blackberries, Treos and the like" yesterday, fellow ZDNet blogger Dan Farber reflected on the "handwringing over whether always-on connectivity is harmful" to the work/life balance.
Reports are surfacing that persistent connectivity may be harmful to one's social life of an intimate nature as well.
Dan Schulman, CEO of cell operator Virgin Mobile, says "one in five will interrupt sex to answer their phone." Schulman discussed the influence of cellphones on one's sex life at an "intense 25-person seminar on "The Mobile Generation" at the Aspen Institute in August," according to a Fortune story:
Much of the discussion focused on how quickly young people worldwide are migrating to mobile communications and integrating them into their lives.
'People leave a movie and text each other, and then text each other again before they go to sleep,' said Jerry Murdock, a venture capitalist with Insight Venture Partners. 'This is something new - maintaining an ongoing dialogue with someone wherever you are.' He says we are entering an era of what he calls 'co-presence.'
Fellow ZDNet blogger Esther Dyson also talked about how mobile applications "foster interaction among people," but signaled risks when devices "are present almost all the time":
I worry about something I call Mental Diabetes Type 2 - a lack of ability to think deeply and in a concentrated fashion over a period of time. We're getting a diet of empty information calories that's over-processed, over-sugared, too bite-sized and way too appealing.
For Virgin Mobile, however, lack of concentration on the task at hand, even if the task happens to be of the sexual kind, may not be a bad thing. Not only is the company "Virgin," its business model thrives on increased cellphone usage.
As a society, however, we will continue to grapple with the question:
Which takes precedence: an incoming cellphone call, or live action activity?