How Reachable Are You?

I don’t have an iPhone or a Blackberry, and I don’t want one. My cellphone can’t receive text messages, let alone images or video messages. If someone needs to reach me urgently, then they call me. If it’s not that urgent, an email will reach me fairly quickly.

I like it that way.

It comes down to choice. I spent 10 days in the fall in Denmark, and didn’t check my email a single time. I came back to a mountain of messages (over 300 requiring a response), but I enjoyed my vacation. I was able to relax and not think about work.

Reaching me while not on vacation is similar. If I’m working, then send me an email – I’ll be notified within seconds of its arrival. If you need me urgently, call me. If I can’t answer the phone, leave a message and I will call you back as soon as I am able. If you can’t reach me by calling, then there is no other way to reach me short of physically locating me.

Sorry, it’s the way I operate.

I don’t want to be fully accessible 24 hours a day. If I’m eating dinner, I don’t want to think about work. Sure, I can turn off the notification, but I’d rather go the simple route of not having a notification in the first place. I’m actually fairly accessible, you just need to know how to best reach me.

At some point in the future, I’ll likely break down and get an iPhone or similar device. Not by choice, but by need. I recognize that for some people, working with such a device is necessary, or provides other benefits. Travelers, for example, can avoid pulling out their laptops just for their email. Other applications running on those devices can provide other benefits.

So, what will it take to get me on such a device?

Well, my employer could insist. Or I could end up spending more time on the road. Or perhaps I’ll see an app that I just have to have, and therefore cave to temptation.

But I don’t want to be more reachable. I think my life is fine the way it is right now.