SNHU IT Professor Discusses Internet Overload

Sunday, January 11, 2009
Union Leader

SNHU IT Professor Discusses Internet Overload

When Travis York of Manchester began using an e-mail enabled personal digital assistant recently, he was pleasantly surprised at how it streamlined his electronic communication.

'It's almost easier,' said York, 31, the president of Manchester's Griffin York & Krause advertising agency. 'Before, stuff would build up. The anticipation of seeing what you were going to have was worse than actually seeing it, which I didn't expect at all.

'If something does come up, I can address it instantaneously, and it can be gone.'

Like York, many New Hampshire workers say carrying a BlackBerry or similar PDA helps them manage electronic communication more effectively. But despite their benefits, mobile devices sometimes can obstruct in-person interaction and encourage hasty responses to business problems.

'There's nothing more annoying than having a conversation with someone whose eyes flicker to that screen, and you know they're not paying attention to you,' said J. Stephanie Collins, a professor of information technology at Southern New Hampshire University's School of Business. 'They don't seem to realize it's creating distance with the person they're in the room with.'

In addition to enabling rudeness, mobile devices sometimes can prompt people to address business issues before thinking them through.

'They feel they have to respond immediately,' Collins said. 'Sometimes if a problem occurs, thinking about it for a half-hour or the time it takes to write a memo gives you time to reflect and see aspects you don't see with your first visceral reaction.'

Setting aside time each day to respond to e-mails is one way to avoid rash responses, said psychologist and executive coach Debra LeClair.

'Customers don't expect you to return every e-mail right away,' said LeClair, the owner of Full Spectrum Wellness in Manchester.

And turning your mobile device off -- or at least silencing it -- during in-person meetings can keep you from being perceived as rude.

'You're not distracted; you're not, 'Oh my God, I have to check this,' ' LeClair said.

Although LeClair's suggestions sound simple, they're not always easy to follow, given the addictive quality of mobile technology.

'They call it a 'Crackberry' for good reason,' LeClair said.

Top Stories
 
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Online Degree Programs in Human Resource Management Recognized by World’s Largest HR Membership Organization More...
 
Saturday, December 07, 2013
For the second time in program history, Southern New Hampshire University is the NCAA Division II men's soccer national champion. More...