I recently returned from London where I was invited to speak on Social media and its applications for business at the Sunday Times Future Estate Agent event. I really enjoy London and networking with international colleagues is always interesting as we discuss the similarities and differences of our business. The event was well run, the other presenters were interesting to listen to and the entire trip was a blast, but that is not the reason I mention it here.
On Saturday, I was enjoying some leisure time by wandering around Portobello Road, Convent Garden, Piccadilly Circus, and Leicester Square when I remembered that I needed to pick up a memory card reader so I could download pictures from my DSLR camera to my MacBook. I know my way around London a bit, but it was 6 years since my last trip so I wanted some additional information.
I started to reach for my phone so I could use Yelp or Google maps to find the closest electronic store when I remembered that I didn’t have a data connection, even though my phone is a Global Droid and could make and receive phone calls. I found a wi-fi source and used my iPad, but as I left the Pub to walk to the store I felt like a lifeline had been severed.
I was meeting friends to visit with them that evening, and without Foursquare or Yelp or Gowalla, or Facebook places, I had to text them my location and check that way on theirs so we could meet at the Underground station near my hotel. The kindle app on my phone and my iPad wasn’t syncing unless I was in range of a wi-fi network so I needed to deal with that manually. My access to my communities on Facebook and Twitter was restricted to times I was at a wi-fi location or using my notebook in the hotel room. And since I didn’t want to go to the trouble of logging on to each public wi-fi space each time I moved from one place to another I was basically without wi-fi after leaving the hotel. Plainly put, I was constantly reminded how connected my mobile devices make me, and how disconnected I was without the power of my data network.
As I write this, I find it odd that in this post about being mobile, the laptop computer, which was the first computing device that allowed me to work in a mobile manner, isn’t a part of the conversation. Today, my mobility is greater because of the newer mobile tools I carry, my Android OS smartphone and my iPad. Because of these tools, being mobile has become an everyday part of my personal and business communication. Mobile may be the future, but only because it signals more of the same.