Have we become too connected?

I was at a presentation by GVTC last week where they were discussing the possibility of running fiber to the homes in Fair Oaks Ranch. See, many of the homes in the city are very spread out and it just hasn’t been cost effective for companies to provide better connectivity to the homes. The thing is, many influencial and well-to-do families live in Fair Oaks and many are grumbling.

At the presentation, GVTC had a picture of a home and they were discussing how much bandwidth a typical house might consume. They were estimating an average of six devices that are wirelessly connected. I started to count: 2 cell phones, 2 tablets, 5 computers, 2 printers, 4 repeaters, 2 game stations, 6 tvs, 2 watches, 5 door locks, 2 thermostats, 6 smoke detectors, 1 CO2 detector, 1 scale, 1 weather station, 1 pulse monitor, 2 keyboards, 2 mice, and a router. That’s almost 50 items connected either by WiFi or Bluetooth technology and I’m probably missing something.

The thing is that there isn’t any intelligence behind these connections.  All of these connections and, in reality, we are as unconnected as possible. Have we become too connected and is it getting quickly out of control. I have also considered things like a connected refrigerator, washer, and dryer, and getting the security system and pool controls connected as well. Where does it end and when do we start thinking about how connected we really are?

Consider social media. Today there are many avenues to leverage social media–channels if you will. People trying to leverage social media find it a bit overwhelming. Wala, Hootsuite is an example of trying to control all your social media via one hub. But the ways we communicate via social media really are limited.  The channels are finite, so it is easy to create a hub for it…well, easier.

How do we establish control of our connectivity in our house and at work. How do we make our lives more effective by leveraging a connection hub of sorts with all of our Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity? How do we build systems that effectively handle all the bandwidth associated with this connectivity? How do we protect ourselves in this uber-connected world? And how do we simply make sense of it all so when it breaks, it is easy to fix?

Questions I pose the connected universe…


About johnrknotts
John Knotts is a results-oriented business professional leader, manager, and supervisor with experience from the military, small business, several nonprofits, and is currently a management consultant. Working out of the San Antonio, Texas, he retired from the Air Force in July 2008 and worked with Booz Allen Hamilton from the end of October 2008 to December 2011. Now he is a Strategic Business Adviser with USAA. John leads large and small strategic transformations and has extensive experience in the areas of change management, strategic planning, process improvement, strategic communication and marketing, strategic human capital and resource management, education and training, facilitation, organizational design and development, modeling and simulation, financial and budget analysis, activity based costing and management, quality management, competitive sourcing and privatization, leadership development, and business development.

2 Responses to Have we become too connected?

  1. Kraig "Bear" Croft says:

    John, to me it has all just snuck up on us. I was complaining the other day to my daughter’s boyfriend, about how USAA wanted me to change some settings in my browser to use internet banking. I didn’t understand the directions. He works as a tech guy, an independent. He looked at my computer and said, “You are still running Windows 7?” Then he fixed it. The solution for me is to have him advise and fix the problems you discuss above.

    Currently, I have enough bandwidth for applications I have. I’m more interested in music streaming, I may have to figure out how to get more, but would need to switch from ATT to something that is faster.

    By-the-way, what should I do with all the boxes of routers, wires, monitors, and crap in the closet?

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