Well connected

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?

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One response to “Well connected

  1. Welcome to cyber terror, Jennifer. You ask relevant questions we all face. Where does life begin and connectivity end? Is privacy possible anymore? Are those of us who value it hopelessly old fashioned?

    It’s easy to get addicted to little devices with big connections. Reporters can no longer get lost inside a story. An editor is always there to pull them right out with the ring of a phone or an electronic scream.

    It makes the job both harder and easier. Sources, too, are more readily available. I’m always thankful when a source answers an email via IPhone even when he/she is halfway across the Atlantic or on a beach in Tahiti.

    Best advice I have is what Derek gave us: Get to know your equipment.
    LInks: 3
    Grammar: 3

    Content: 4

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