FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.
Information technology overload can be a very real thing. Don't get me wrong - technology is fantastic. Instantaneously we are on top of fast-breaking news developments. And we are in immediate and constant contact with our "friends."
But sometimes doesn't it all seem a bit too much?
Do you ever just want to turn off, take a breath and simply observe the real world around you?
Once upon a time, the spoken word was the coin of the realm when it came to human interactions. Usually, only one person would be listened to at a time. People also captured their thoughts by taking their time and communicating in correspondence and other written works.
Along came the printing press, and the advent of mass communication emerged. But still, people only read a limited number of books and letters as part of their lives.
Later, the telephone arrived, and for the first time people could talk to each other while not being in the same place. Yet, while land line telephones proliferated, usually there was only one phone line per house, limiting how many people could be engaged in phone conversations at a time.
Time marched on, and along came faxes, then Internet access, emails, text messages, instant messaging, social networking, Skyping, and more. In any given moment, we now can reach out and be touched in a myriad of ways from devices smaller than a deck of cards.
The advantages of such instant and all-encompassing access are obvious. That is why we are where we are now with information technology. However, there are personal downsides.
It really is possible to allow information technology to gobble up all waking time, such that a person is oblivious to the actual world in which we live. We all have seen people in gorgeous scenic spots staring into their handheld devices or squawking on their cell phones. They miss magic moments right in front of them, if they bother to look.
So, while information technology is good and is here to stay, let's commit to turning off once in a while. Perhaps we each should set aside just a bit of time each day just to be - free and unfettered by electronic communications. Indeed, this can be very liberating, and we later return to our devices refreshed and happier.
Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP (http://www.duanemorris.com) where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. His Web site is http://www.sinrodlaw.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please send an email to him with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.
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