Technology to blame for lack of time, but I love being connected

I flew out to Norway from Norwich International Airport this week and,thanks to modern communication

I flew out to Norway from Norwich International Airport this week and,thanks to modern communication technology, even from abroad, I could stay intouch with the EDP newsroom here in the UK. - Credit: Archant

It has become part of everyday conversation to say how busy we are. Everyone I bump into moans of time poverty – these days, do you hear many people wailing about how much time they have on their hands? There, that's my mitigation laid down in print … before I confess to an even more frantic week than normal!

Before I detail this week's adventures, I'll give you my theory of why so many of us find time drifts away like the sands in an egg timer. It's rapidly-advancing technology, of course. Day and night, you can read your emails from the great electronic umbrella in many places across the world. You can tweet, or be tweeted to, from large parts of the globe. You can hit a Facebook account whilst in the bath or jump on to websites or social networking outlets whilst you watch a film or a favourite TV programme. It's all part of being connected – and connection means response. Response might well mean a job currently under way will be delayed – which means time is taken and time poverty ensured. As mobile and broadband speed is set to improve in months, never mind years, the pace of life will be threatened again. So it's about choices – just how much do you want to be connected and driven by an electronic stick?

My confession – as a print journalist of old here a red telephone box that worked and didn't smell of dreadful things was a luxury – is that I love, love, love the mass communication world. It allows me to be the master of all the news content that I survey – social media sites in particular being a boon to my craft. I was in Norway this week and was able to leave an electronic footprint wherever I went. I tweeted at dawn, I messaged at midnight, I checked on stories and pages all through the day. I was connected and I hope my papers and websites were the better for it. I knew what was going on in the UK before some more traditional news sources – and I still managed full contribution to the meetings I attended. Norway gained me a fascinating insight into a pan-Scandinavian newspaper and website business – and a country that is connected in busy towns and cities as well as remote villages. Back in the UK I went to see a terrific Cliff Richard perform at Blickling Hall, near Aylsham. My busy week got busier but not more connected. It wasn't until drove back into Norwich that I could send my concert review to newsdesk! Felt like I needed that old red telephone box once more.

I loved flying out to Norway from Norwich International Airport – what a busy place that was as people travelled to and from various holiday locations. Using Norwich, and Amsterdam as a hub, gives the region the world without the four to five-hour rail trek to, let's say, Gatwick or Heathrow. It's a super operation and is beautifully organised by the team – yet many people haven't ever flown from Norfolk soil. Great to see the golden greys having such a good time at the Cliff Richard gig on Thursday. Many in the crowd were just screaming young girls when they swooned at Cliff in his Summer Holiday heyday. With some in the audience now grandmothers I wondered how they would react when pop's Peter Pan emerged. Well, they just rocked it! At the end they stormed to the front to dance in front of their hero. Just like they did in the era of red telephone boxes! Now, I hope you feel connected to my world and I'll be here again next week.

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Follow me on twitter at @Nigel_Pickover

In next week's Editor's Chair: A seagoing Princess and a wonderful Duchess

First published June 8, 2013

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