Thought for the day:A mobile rule of thumb

Incisive columnist and IT expert Colin Beveridge looks at a hot issue of the day.So another working week disappears quietly into...

Incisive columnist and IT expert Colin Beveridge looks at a hot issue of the day.So another working week disappears quietly into the oblivion of the past. I hope you enjoyed a smidgen of well-deserved recreation with your nearest and dearest, away from the high-pressure world of information technology.

Congratulations - it is a worthy ambition and one to which we should all regularly aspire.

These days, though, it is getting harder and harder to achieve a totally clean break from data-hungry systems.

Sure, we may leave the office on a Friday afternoon determined not to touch a keyboard, or not to look at a computer screen until the dreaded Monday morning comes around again.

But even our sternest resolve seems to melt instantly as soon as the caged beast in our pocket tenaciously roars and demands to be fed with data by its keeper.

OK, you may not react quite so strongly to receiving a GSM text message, but it really is an insidious piece of technology that never seems to be satisfied, no matter how often it is nourished.

Almost everywhere you look, you will see people squinting at tiny LCD screens, thumbs frantically tapping away on the keypad of their phones.

The sad thing is that if you put these folks into an office and asked them to type at the same pace on a full-sized keyboard, they would all be taking you to the tribunal within a week for inflicting RSI on them.

Maybe we should use mobile phones for all our data entry, eh?

Before you all accuse me of being a technophobe, or a plain old fuddy-duddy, I don't object fundamentally to the technology.

It's just that I think it is getting out of hand and my feelings have nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that I have spent most of today explaining to my wife why my mobile woke us at 3.45 a.m. with an untraceable text message that simply said "missing you - Natasha."

Thanks for your time, have a good week and try to think twice before texting -especially if your name is Natasha.

Have we all become text maniacs? >>

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Colin Beveridge is an interim executive who has held top-level roles in IT strategy, development services and support. His travels along the blue-chip highway have taken him to a clutch of leading corporations, including Shell, BP, ICI, DHL and Powergen.

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