I've decided that I love my BlackBerry (BB). I figured out how to turn off the alarm everytime an email comes in. Now, I feel completely connected to the world. I have all my email addressed connected to the device can get online at anytime.
Marshall McLuhan is one of my favorite media writes. You might remember his quick cameo in Annie Hall (Brian, you know this). He believes that media allows us to touch one another through long distances. When you talk to some one n the phone, or watch some one on the news, you "touch" that person. It's a bit far fetched, but the idea is that all us humans are tactile creates. Different methods of communication provide for different levels of connectivity.
McLuhan says that television is a "hot" medium, because it actively engages you with other people. Writing, on the other hand, is "cool" because it is more passive, more distanced from people, less tactile. Email, if it can be considered a separate medium (I don't think it can), it is a mix between cool (they are read) and hot (an instant message, no pun intended, to put you in directed contact with another person). When it's spam or non-personal, it's cool. When it's person to person in a persona manner, it is one of the hottest mediums around.
With my BB, I have my entire social network available to me in almost every way: text, email, voice, and image. I feel always-connected. While that was intimidating I first, and I was fearful of feeling tied to work constantly, never being able to turn of. While that may happen, I feel a strange sense of freedom, of having the choice to enter the network at my leisure. I can answer emails on the subway. I can send pix to Harley (who's iPhone is similar) when I need to show her something. I am freed from the computer to communicate electronically.
TiVo changed my life; it put television on my schedule. BB (like other handheld mobile devises); it puts the Internet on my time. And instead of feeling more disaconnect from actual human interaction, I feel more so. I still feel antisocial in many ways, but that's a whole other blog...