The architecture of connection comes from the lack of connection not the presence of connection. The reality of being connected was designed before it was implemented. Now, we can argue that the intent of the design and the implementation of the design are different. But one led to the other, design then implement.
Connections reality comes from the 1980’s and 1990’s. I won’t go into the details of the pain but point that without the pain of the early cellular conversation, the later digital and ultimately the world we have today, wouldn’t be. You have to have a problem to fix. Connection is a two-sided street. It is important to remember that you need both sides for the connection to work.
There is a human side of connection as well. I’ve spent years on my blogs and podcast sharing communications patterns and anti-patterns. Fun characters whose focus was to inform but also remind. In case, in looking at the character I painted you see a piece of yourself. The reality is, most people with an anti-pattern never see that in themselves. But its there for the rest of us to see.
But connections are more than just what we see in others. They are more than the one or two bars your cell phone has as it cuts out and you can’t talk to other people. It is more than downloading the latest version of Angry Birds while waiting at the Doctors Office. Or looking up the films of Jim Carrey as you wait in line at the grocery store. Connection is all that and more. In fact from this I have found a new communication pattern and anti-pattern.
The communications pattern is the connected worker. The anti-pattern is the directly face connected to the device “disconnected” worker. Yes the names are very similar and we all run into this pattern. The good side is the universe of information at our fingertips. We can reach out into the internet and pull back any information that is delaying a meeting, group or project. The downside is distraction. That device becoming the be all and end all. We no longer need to talk to the people in the room, instead we interact with the electronic device in front of us.
I started this piece with a discussion of the intent of connection (the architecture) and talked about the drifting that often occurs (intent begat reality). The reality of the distracted anti-pattern is the disconnection from the physical world to the digital world. The problems that presents in a meeting, in a group or just at a family diner are immense. It isn’t just the cellular phone or tablet. It’s the world impinging on us.
Personally I get frustrated when people bring devices into meetings. Why? It means they are disconnected form the meeting. I do it myself from time to time. My rule is if I have a device I take notes. If I don’t have a device I still take notes, I just use the Armstrong Word processing system to take the notes. (pen and paper). Don’t lose sight of the person across from you (or next to you). The real connection in the room, is the person in the room with you. The digital connection is transient.