How many times have you experienced this scenario in the past week? You are talking to someone in person and your cell phone rings. You politely tell whoever you were just talking with, to give you just a second to answer the call. You answer the call and while you are dealing with whatever the caller needs you for, your phone buzzes alerting you to a text message. In that moment, your mine is in more than one place. This can be distracting and some would say an enabling of ADD like symptoms. Much of what changes in our lives when new technology is introduced is subtle and goes unnoticed. The changes that really change how we live happen gradually. We all notice when the iPhone 5 is released and when you get one of these devices, you clearly notice but the affect on how we relate is usually under the radar for most of us. When our devices connect to the internet faster, they become increasingly ubiquitous and we notice them less and less as we rely on these "tools" more and more. As Clay Shirky states in his book, "Here Comes Everybody". "Communications tools don't get socially interesting until they get technologically boring. The invention of a tool doesn't create change. It has to have been around long enough that most of society is using it. It's when a technology becomes normal, then ubiquitous, and finally so pervasive as to be invisible, that the really profound changes happen, and for young people today, our new social tools have passed normal and are heading to ubiquitous, and invisible is coming." (Shirky pg. 105).
We are at that point in our society where our mobility in communication can be both disruptive and productive at the same time. The effect of multiplicity of place is that we are becoming a society of multi taskers and jugglers of data and relationships. I think that this concept of being in multiple places at one time can be harnessed to propel innovation rather than allow it to be a distraction and annoyance. If we can be in more than one place at at time, then maybe time travel is not that far off.