Modern life saddles us with different devices, phone numbers, and accounts and their associated passwords. Our different online identities require appropriate privacy settings. We may have one set of privacy criteria for our personal social media information as opposed to work related information. Our different life roles may be as simple as home and work, or even more complex. Inevitably some items may bleed over into one another such as co workers who are Facebook friends. At the same time we wish for simple management. Is this possible?
Well, I am afraid to say that in modern life things are seldom simple. In fact, it takes work to make things simple. Tools that help us manage complexity, once they are set up, will help simplify life. But first you have to set it up! Yes, there is a chicken and egg analogy here.
One example of convergence is that you can have one phone number that someone can call and it will ring all your phones - desk, cellular, home. In purely corporate terms one number that can ring both a smartphone and a desk phone and allow transfers between the two systems seems incredible useful.
Now, I personally, would not want to include my personal phones in this mix. I like to keep things separate. But within the business realm, convergence is great. And within the personal realm convergence is great also! I just don't want to mix the personal and the business if I can help it.
What about device convergence? I like the idea of having a universal device that can do a lot of things. My BlackBerry smartphone serves as a camera, gps with turn by turn navigation, handheld game machine, eBook reader, and alarm clock. But I still have a Kindle, two digital cameras, GPS in my car, and various other gaming systems. Ok, I admit I am I lover of gadgets and technology so I may have more devices than some other people. But the specialized devices each serve a different purpose. The Kindle eReader's e-ink display allows me to read without eye strain, the Nintendo DS lets my kids play games on the go, the navigation on my car is one button push away and never needs to be taken out of my purse. I have a point and shoot digital camera that fits in my purse but takes fantastic snapshots. My Nikon DSLR allows me to change lenses and take astounding quality photographs.
I did get rid of my alarm clock, though so that's one less item. Maybe there is hope for a little convergence and simplicity in my life after all. But for now I am walking around during the day with my work cell phone in my left pocket and my personal cell phone in my right pocket. When I go home for the night I switch pockets!