I bought my first netbook this week. It's an HP Mini (I got it for its big, fantastic keyboard) and I've started taking it everywhere I go. It's mainly for writing purposes, I don't use it much to browse the Internet. That's what my G1 is for. It keeps me in contact with a hundred different people from all over the world. We chat all day in multiple different mediums, but all through the same devices.
We're not alone. On the opposite side of the smartphone war, the Apple iPhone users have admitted that they mainly use their $300 dollar phones for goofing off. Any bargain bin smartphone on the market today contains more raw processing capability than the best super computers from 15 years ago.
Unless you've spent the last twelve months hiding in a cave, you must've noticed that damn near everyone seems to own a smartphone of some sort these days. It's a very recent development, and it's turned phones into way more than simple person-to-person contact devices. Now, they are keys to an immersive world of communication and entertainment. How many times have you heard the conversation run dry at a party, because everyone is entranced by the flickering blue light of Facebook on a sea of little smartphone screens?
The widespread popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace has made the wired world an ingrained facet of the minutiae of everyday life. We have reached ubiquitous computing, and it's a damn good thing.
This revolution isn't just based around social utilities. More people than ever are working from home these days. That's a good thing, because more telecommuters means less people driving, which means more people with money to save or spend on frivolous gadgets. Across the board, we're doing less real 'work' than ever these days.
This study provides proof for what most of us have suspected for years. People are chatting and texting and AIMing more often than ever, and working way less. This study showed that 43% of London office workers spend more time talking to their friends through cell phones and email than they spent working. 42% of them were honest enough to admit that they prioritized personal business above work business.
It's not surprising. People are finally starting to realize that spending eight hours a day stuck in a stuffy office isn't worth the payoff. Technology has once again allowed us to shirk work more efficiently than ever before. The chief goal of science since time immemorial has been to make man able to live better on less work. In the digital future, the slackers will thrive.