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Work and Hyperconnectivity: Consequences and Risks

Hyperconnectivity, what is it?

Hyperconnectivity is a term conceived and invented by two sociologists: Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman. This term refers to the use of multiple means of communication combined with technology and the growing number of services enabled by Web 2.0 that require always-on Internet access.

Many ubiquitous technologies are merging personal and professional life. However, the impact of these developments on health and work is far from clear. While some people can thrive in an “always on” environment, other research has focused on “cyberloafing,” a term used to describe the actions of employees using Internet access for other people while they are pretending to do an honest job.

Hyperconnectivity and work:

Indeed, hyper-connectivity is like technology, it leads us into an endless battle between benefits and challenges. It can be a powerful tool for collaboration, promoting global convergence and greater efficiency. At the same time, the way many tasks are done has changed very rapidly, and people are expected to adapt to this change.

Today, not only can we keep in touch with old friends, but we can also work together with people we may never shake hands with.

For as long as anyone can remember, computers have gone from being in the corporate environment to being in our pockets. Social media has supplanted traditional media. More recently, the “cloud” has emerged, making vast amounts of data and applications available wherever there is an internet connection.

The result of all this is that today we are faced with the phenomenon of hyper-connectivity. This term refers not only to the myriad of ways to communicate and interact, but also to their impact on personal and organizational behavior.

What are the consequences ?

The consequence of hyperconnectivity is that the boundaries of time and space have been largely transcended. The experience is virtualized. You no longer need to be in the same room or even the same country as your colleague to achieve what previously required face-to-face contact.

It’s no surprise that hyperconnectivity is having, and continues to have, a profound impact on the workplace: it’s affecting the way we work and connect, especially with our colleagues. Hyperconnectivity is creating new opportunities for business models and new ways of working: With the proliferation of new mobile devices and higher broadband speeds, connecting people has never been easier. Web 2.0 social tools and a hyper-connected workforce are wiping out many old work patterns, no matter where or when.

The Risks of Hyperconnectivity:

* Lack of vigilance:

As we are also connected online, the attention span of the connected generation is a rare find. Try to get the attention of a digital native, gamer, or social media enthusiast after they connect to the internet and you’ll find they’re not giving you the attention you want. This phenomenon is explained simply by the fact that the person permanently lives in a parallel virtual world.

* Difficulty concentrating:

Associated with the attention disorders mentioned above, the concentration disorder is also the manifestation of the hyperactivity induced by hyperconnectivity. In fact, Web 2.0 tools encourage us to do different tasks at the same time, with consequences for our health: visual fatigue and lack of concentration and focus on a specific area. The risks range from an incomplete task to severe mental disorders.

* Memory error:

Memory bears the brunt of the information overload associated with the hyper-connected lifestyle: news feeds, social networks, blog aggregators, etc. allow information to be tracked in real time, leading to cognitive overload and an unusual load on our brains.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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