However, I do think we’ve become too connected in some respects, like social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Only several years ago the social media sites were used mostly to reconnect with friends or hear what your favorite celebrities had to say. But over the past five years the levels of negativity, intolerance, hate, bigotry and outright false information has turned some sites, particularly Twitter, into a cesspool. I for one, used to love going on Facebook and Twitter several times a day. In the past year I have become so disgusted with the level of negativity and lies that I only rarely log on these days. But I do still use my phone many times a day. I occasionally make phone calls, but more often text. For those people like me who hate talking on the phone, texting has been a godsend. A phone call requires me to stop what I’m doing and engage in a real-time conversation, something I might not be in the mood to do at the moment. That call will usually go to my voicemail. But when I receive a text, I can take my time reading it, take my time composing a reply, reread it to make sure it sounds right before sending. I can do it anytime, anywhere without bothering anyone. I want to change my outgoing voicemail to “Why on earth are you calling me?! Hang up and text me like a normal person.” I also use my phone to check on my online Etsy shop. I’m no longer tied to my laptop to check orders or answer questions from customers who send me a message. I can take my business with me wherever I go. With almost all large companies, like Etsy, having apps nowadays, many people no longer need a home computer, their phone serve all of their needs.
Since so many of us are very reliant on our phones, it’s crucial that we learn how to stop robocalls and other such “pest” calls. Donald E. Peterson wrote an article outlining the protections that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) offers cell phone and landline users. Landlines and cell phones are covered in different ways, and prerecorded calls are treated differently than live calls, so it’s a complicated process. In order to learn how you can protect your phone from being inundated by robocalls and how you might even be able to be awarded up to $1500 per call, please read Mr. Peterson’s article: https://tcpa.mobi/prerecorded-telemarketing-calls/
People have become accustomed to being able to contact larger companies 24/7 for customer service. This used to be primarily by phone, with customer service agents available all over the planet at any time of day. Increasingly common are live chats, which can be done on the computer or cell phone. And – in the most eerie example of modern connectivity – if one has a problem with their computer they can do a live chat with a technician and at some point (with your permission of course) the technician can access your computer from afar. The customer in Idaho can be chatting live online with a technician in Florida, and the technician can see the customer’s computer screen, take control of their mouse/cursor, open files, delete files, and do anything on the computer that the customer could do themselves. Though creepy at first, it’s extremely helpful to just let the technician take control of your computer so they can fix the problem in a fraction of the time it would take them to tell you how to do it step-by-step. Many times I’ve been up at 2 am with a computer problem and I’m grateful I don’t have to wait until 9am to get help.
If this “taking control from afar” technique is available today, it’s amazing to think what might be available in the future. Or what’s already available now, but unknown and unavailable to the general public. If a technician in Florida can access anyone’s computer in seconds, what else can they do without us knowing about it? What might the government be doing? Perhaps spying on potential terrorists or mass shooters. That would be wonderful if they could prevent tragedies from happening, but how many innocent people’s privacy would be violated in the process? Not every covert infiltration would foil a terrorist. Many sneaky spying sessions might come up empty-handed because they were spying on an innocent person. It’s a very blurry line and terrifies many people. However, I’m more of the mindset that if you’re doing nothing wrong then what do you have to be worried about? And if you ARE doing something wrong…then perhaps they are right to put you under surveillance.
Since customer service is now available to most people 24 hours a day, people have become a bit spoiled and expect someone to either be on live chat or answering a phone at all hours. This can be a problem for smaller companies, who are already struggling to compete with the big guys. If they are not capable of offering 24-hour support, one option may be to hire an answering service. There are so many answering services available to consumers that it may be difficult to choose one. One convenient option is to go to Find Answering Service at https://findansweringservice.com/ and they will walk you through the process to find an answering company that is the perfect fit for your company.
Like most recent technology, there are pros and cons to the internet and cell phones. Many people feel like they “can’t escape” if they are always contactable or feel tied to their phone. We as a society need to learn to not be too obsessed with our phones and maintain a real life not tethered to technology. But there’s no denying that cell phones and the internet have made staying connected incredibly easy.