by Jennifer Mogensen
As a newbie to the field of journalism, I am just learning how important it is to stay connected. As we continue to discuss in class, the ever changing field of journalism requires a would-be-writer to stay on their toes. When news breaks, I need to know. If my editor returns my copy, I need to respond without haste.
So I did it: I up-graded to a BlackBerry Curve!
The scary little device is sitting next to me right now and it hasn’t stopped beeping, ringing or flashing since I picked it up at noon. The kind Sprint employee set it up for me. The phone is instantly ready to receive any message from any one of my three e-mail accounts. Now my mother, my editor and my clients can reach me in a nano-second.
The helpful employee also set up my phone to respond to certain Internet postings. When something happens on one of my selected sites, I know about it instantly.
It sounded like a good idea this morning.
Just 11 hours later, I am asking myself if this is really necessary. As soon as I hear from someone or something I feel obligated to respond immediately. I stop what I am doing to concentrate on this new apparatus. Today I found myself pulling off to the side of the road, putting others on hold, stopping ongoing conversations and generally ignoring the world around me.
That isn’t what a journalist does.
Are we becoming so addicted to our equipment that we are tuning out what is going on around us? Are we spending so much time staring at a screen that we fail to see what is in front of us? Are we typing and texting so often that we are forgetting how to speak?
I am sure I will grow to love my new companion. I will figure out how to put someone on hold while simultaneously texting and reading an incoming e-mail, all while meeting with a source for lunch. I know I can do this, the question is: should I?