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Is Technology dividing people?

Use of technology is something I have always enjoyed and will do so in future. However, there has been many occasions that has put me in awkward social situations. These range from downright embarrassments to heated arguments to even pulling punches. Well, I would not go into detail of all such incidents. But, I would like to cite a situation that just happened to me today.

Me and my son badly needed a hair cut. I have a two year old and all you parents out there can imagine how tough it is to get them to sit through a hair cut. The moment they see all the gadgetry (I mean clippers, scissors, combs, dryers and such) they get even more scared. In order to avoid a prolonged stay at the barber shop, I used heir online checkin feature.

By the time we arrived at the shop, the waiting room was packed. They let us cut the physical queue and get us straight to the chairs. As elderly gentleman waiting there for over 30 mins got really ticked off, stood up and said he is not mad or upset but walked out stating that he needed to catch a train. This event left me a little perplexed and made me wonder if technology is dividing people, more so between the generations that are already divided in a huge way.

Any thoughts?

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Is Work-Life balance a mirage for modern day workforce?

I’m writing this while waiting for a flight to head out on a business trip. I will be gone for 5 days, away from home, loving wife and kids. It has been a hectic couple of months for me so far. Traveling, by nature has it’s advantages as it takes you places you might not have been before and opens doors to new people, cultures and experiences. However, at times, it also takes you away from your loved ones as well, which would be a hard thing to do often for many of us.

I guess travel is just one of many things that’s keeping people away from families. In the “new world” many things have changed in terms of how, when and where people work. With the advent of Internet and improved mobile computing experience, while people are getting things done at the speed of light, they are also compelled to take work where ever they go.

While that is the case, there are still many opportunities for people to work at managing their work – life balance. But given the fast, competitive and challenging world, I think it is getting harder and harder for people to be able to do that. I’m rooting and hoping for the day that would let me do all the work that I want to but still help me spend considerable time with the loved ones. I hope that day is not a mirage as I put it in the title of this post.

My iPad woes

I have been an ardent fan of Microsoft for a long time. Don’t think for a second that I am writing this because I have switched sides or about to. I will continue my fandom to Microsoft despite some of their blunders during the past decade. They have made life easy for a lot of users and developers alike in the 90s, like me, with their innovative and often ridiculed UI rich operating system, applications and tools. I still happen to think that the tools provided by MS make life easy for the developers to build some of the slickest of applications with minimal effort. I know that is debatable but that is my opinion and I am sticking with it.

One of the biggest mistakes, I think, they committed in the last few years is not cashing in on their early entry into the mobile computing. While there are still a lot of handheld devices used across the world for business purposes, from a consumer stand point they missed the bus. Despite that I have been waiting for a long time to find a decent windows based gadget like the iPad, but in vain. So I eventually took the plunge and bought one iPad 2.0, despite having 2 laptops at home.

The primary reason I bought iPad was for it to be my reading and learning gadget. May be that’s two reasons :-). Basically for news, videos, virtual learning so on and so forth. While I knew that Apple has taken a stand not to run flash on their gadgets, I didn’t realize that it would be that big a deal. Fast forward a few months, now I can’t really view any websites that are done in flash. Not only that but I can’t run through some virtual learning classes that some of our vendors have made available for us to enhance our knowledge. This is becoming more and more of an annoying problem as I originally imagined I could lay down on my bed and go through these videos. Now, 50% of my primary purpose(s) is defeated.

If you think about it for a second, it appears really ridiculous how a vendor like Apple can take such a stand. Even more ridiculous is how they can get away with it. While they may have their reasons for it, the decision is hurting two parties the most. One, people like me who would love to use flash content. Two, Adobe. It not only prevents them from expanding their footprint but also brands their product lousy.

So now, I think iPad sucks, with out flash content. But for that, it is still an amazing gadget. While I would love to use it more often, this one big challenge is limiting me from enjoying it to the fullest. I am not sure if this is gonna ever be solved. So, I guess I have to live with it, just like many other decisions I might have made along the way.

Hello World!!!

It’s been a while since I had a new post on my blog. Things have been moving pretty fast for me these days. I mean that in a positive way. This post is my “pingback” into the blogosphere again, after a hiatus of about 3 months. I need to get back to my old form, speak my mind, that is. I promise to myself that I will have a couple of posts every week. Let’s see how good would I be on my word to myself 🙂

One more thing I want to announce through this post is that I am 10 lbs lighter now. Feels great to lose some weight. Am trying to get rid of another 15 lbs. That will get my BMI under 25 and make me ‘Normal’ and not over weight. It is amazing that I was able to do this in the past couple of months. I always used to say to myself that I do not have time for physical activity, except for a couple of tennis sessions with friends, in a week.

So, all you ‘OverWeight’ or ‘Obese’ folks out there, If I can do it, you can, too. So, just get out and walk,run,play. Do anything but eating or sitting idle. Things look very different and exciting when you get active. Good Luck!!!

Hi there, Honey Bee…Who are you working for?

Time and Tide waits for none…

Many of us have read or heard this a lot of times. However, we go about doing our business like Honey Bees. That’s right, Honey Bees. Each of us in our own way “think” that we are working for our future. However, what we do not realize is that we are not enjoying the current moment to the fullest in the process of working for our future. The future that we so fervently work for, passes by, but we will not have time to realize that because we are working for future. Every second that we spend working for future is another second that we miss. 

That might have sounded crazy, but I have been reflecting on my work and personal life for the past 10 years. Work has been the epicenter of my world.I think it would be more justified to say that work has been my entire world. Everything else was secondary. I am ashamed  to say that  even my family, my financial future and everything that is considered my personal life was secondary. I expected and steered everything and all my closed ones to fall in line with this philosophy. 

Many of you might be thinking “That’s Me”. Wake up people. Wake up and think about what you are doing. I know the impending economic situation, job losses etc. would be motivating enough to bury yourself in work, more than ever. Stop and think where you would go for shelter, consolation and a few words of encouragement if you are down. My guess is your closed ones. Make sure you are giving enough water to that tree today so that you can expect it to give you enough shade when you are tired, beaten down and desperately need some help to rejuvenate and recharge to get back to work for your future.

I know all this might sound incoherent like Joaquin Phoenix, not the actor but the musician, on Dave Letterman. But, I think somewhere in there are a few questions that you should ask yourself.

  • Who are you working for?
  • When was the last time you had 8 hours of sleep?
  • When was the last time you have spent Sunday evenings, not thinking about your work on Monday?
  • When was the last time you have gone back home after work and never had to open your laptop to respond to emails that you could not catch up on during your work hours?
  • When was the last time you did not search for your Blackberry or laptop the moment you opened your eyes, early in the morning?

Happy Thinking 🙂 . Hope you get out of your depression pretty soon after reading  this post.

Cheers,

Venu.

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