The benefit and burden of being connected everywhere

I am connected to my work, family and friends to a degree that was unimaginable 10 years ago.  It is not just calls on the cell phone, it is email, text, Twitter, IM, Facebook and an immnumerable number of other services.  The opportunities this connectivity brings are tremendous; people collaberate, connect and achieve in amazing ways.  In many ways, actual physical presence has become irrelevant.

This level of connectivity also means it is nearly impossible to disconnect, even for a brief period of time.  The expectation is set that one will always be available, even it it is only a text message or email.  This means lines between work and play are blurred and, if one is not careful, the quality of both work and play diminishes.

Occasionally I wonder if the benefit of being “connected” whereever and whenever is worth the burden of essentially being “on-call”, permanently.  Do you ever have this concern?  How do you address it? I am interested to hear your thoughts.

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