Thoughts on Technology, Geekery, And The Change in What Wait Time Is

I now see waiting time a lot differently.  Those times at the dentists office or the train station?  They're no longer annoying, or where I try to figure out what have to do with myself.  They're productive times.

Why? Because I have a Smartphone.  I have a computer that just happens to make phone calls.  I can spend that time reading, checking email, updating people, and more. I think of my wait time far differently now than I did a few weeks ago

I doubt I'm alone.  In fact, as I watch people mill about with smartphones and tablets and microtablets, it seems a lot of people are looking at wait time differently, which I think means a change in what wait time means to people.

There is no downtime anymore when you have portable devices.  This is a cultural, business, and psychological shift.

It's cultural in that people are going to be using portable devices during their wait times.  It will become acceptable to do all sorts of things with computing just standing around, or buying groceries, or wondering when the doctor will see you.  Do you talk to the person next to you or not?  Is it acceptable to browse for information to check things in a conversation?

It's business as now you'll be even more connected, and people may expect to reach you even more often.  It's business in that you can work anywhere easier .  You can run a business without dragging around a laptop.  It changes the nature of work as work can be anywhere.

Finally, it's psychological.  You'll have to think more about how it's best to use your time and how you want to use it.  Youlll need to know when to "plug in" and when not to.  You'll find new ways to tune in, or tune out, to work, or overwork.

Laptops, which are comparatively large and bulky aren't going to help us timeshift short waits. Mobile devices have the convenience and immediacy (and some even work one-handed)  that let you use them in short bursts of activity under many conditions.

So wait time is going to change for all of us, especially we wired progeeks.

Steven Savage