I don’t remember how I found this tweet or when – but I kept it in my notes because I found it noteworthy:
To the producer who texted at 3.51 am asking for a live interview at 4am re #xxxx please create a database of insomniacs and leave me off
Ever since technology has made it possible there are bosses/ customers/ media producers who think their employees/ contractors/ public figures should be available at all times and, what is worse, employees/ contractors/ public figures who agree.
I do not think, however, that technology is the cause here – technology only reinforces what is already latent in human nature. It is pretty normal for people to act on the assumption that their fellow human beings are just like them – as described in the tweet cited above. Here is someone who feels under pressure to get an interview about a hot topic, and the adrenalin in their veins makes them oblivious about the time.
And the recipient is so irate about receiving this at such an ungodly hour that he fails to take into consideration that he received a text, not a phone call – a text is silent and it is up to the receiver whether he takes notice or not. If he has set his mobile phone to ring when receiving text messages he deserves no better than to be woken up by a text message sent by an insomniac.
Technology has enabled us to leave a lot of limitations behind – but there is one limitation no technology in the world will help us leave behind, and that is the limitation of our own thinking, and more importantly, our emotions. The internet has given us easy access to the thinking of others, but we will always interpret what we see, hear and read according to our own coordinates, and these coordinates are not determined by our intellect.
Our behavior remains determined by the parts of our brain that we do not have any control over. So regardless of whether we interact with people who are physically around us or whether we use an electronic device to send messages, we remain human beings – Twitter is a good place to study this.