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I am a big fan of my PDA ... I happen to have an iPhone and it keeps me in contact with my world. It gives me access to my mail and all of my key contacts, it manages my calendar AND its a phone. By way of bonus there are a number of "apps" that I find useful, such as maps, banking information, text messaging, online reservation systems, alarms etc.
It is incredible to think about what life used to be like before tools like this existed ... I can still remember my first "mobile phone" which was a transportable phone from Radio Shack which probably weighed 10lbs!
Having extolled the virtues of this "tool" I also have to point out some of my peeves about pdas and how people use them ...
1. I don't really think it is necessary for people to be "reading and walking" ... it is almost an epidemic. How do all of these walk/text walk/read people avoid each other? How do they avoid being killed crossing the street? I am always sidestepping some idiot intent on the little screen in front of their face!
2. I don't really think it is cool to stand in a lineup yabbering away on your mobile device ... I don't need to hear about your love life, how your date went last night, your complaining about your job or any other conversation that should be taking place in private! This goes for any place where you have an audience captive ... sitting at the airport, on a bus, in a restaurant (that might need its own rule), in the food court etc.
3. Just because I have a pda does not mean that I need to provide instant answers; 24 hour coverage; even answer the thing if it rings. It is a tool that needs to fit into my world not the other way around. It helps me be more efficient, but it should not force me to deal with tasks that are not on my plan.
4. Voice levels ... for some reason certain people think they have to shout louder when talking into a hand held device! I just love it when one loud voice on a mobile device out-noises a crowd! I am always reminded of a fairly old, fairly deaf uncle of mine in Ireland who will listen to the phone and then when he wants to talk, he holds it in front of his mouth and talks loudly. Very effective way not to be interrupted I expect!
5. Mobile devices in the movies, the theatre etc. ... ringing, buzzing, clicking keys, sudden illuminations around the place are ALL very distracting. Turn it off and put it away!
6. Meetings. I assume that when you are in a meeting it is to focus on that subject ... when half the participants are on their pda guess how productive that meeting will be? Meetings should be run efficiently so as not to waste time ... but pdas are a big part of their inefficiency!
So ... that brings me to TWO RULES for PDAs!
Rule Number 1. Your pda is a (fabulous) tool to help you ... you should not be driven by it!
Rule number 2. Be courteous to those around you when you need to use it.
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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