Although its precise meaning has evolved considerably over the past few thousand years, mobility has been a fundamental force for societal progress. And while physical mobility was the signature of the Industrial Age, information mobility drives society today.
Just as the automobile provided key benefits for widespread physical mobility, mobile information too is largely a liberating phenomenon. It provides us with freedom to act virtually, to communicate across conventional boundaries. Were it not for the waves splashing against the bow of my boat, my editor might think I was taking that conference call at the office.
But like most things good, the mobile information revolution has a dark side; a struggle to ensure that the technology serves our needs, rather than controls us. It's a serious issue, and its importance will grow over time.
Don't Call Us ...
Mobile voice is cheap and ubiquitous, a technology we largely take for granted. However, we have yet to fully grasp its impact--for individuals and organizations. Individually, we agonize about who should have access to our mobile cell phone number, cognizant of both the benefits and the invasive nature of such access. Increasingly, providing ones' cell phone number has symbolic importance in building personal relationships. In essence, you are providing someone with license to interrupt, even if you secretly hope the person will never actually call.