Technology is often described as a mediator, acting as a bridge between people, places, and information. It allows for connectivity, making unexpected relationships possible. In collaboration, we seek tools that enable connectivity.
If technology is a bridge between people, places, and information, than how might it possibly discourage collaboration? This conundrum is fascinating to me.
As technology encourages collaboration in one instance, it almost always disconnects a different instance. This paradox suggests, in order to engage, one must disengage somewhere else. For example, If we are present in a shared, collaborative work space but we are actually engaged in a google hangout session with collaborators overseas, where exactly are we? Are we present in the physical space OR are has the bridge connected us to our technologically-driven environment with our online collaborators? Another example could be the interruption of social networks that disengages your work environment (real or virtual). Technology-driven environments interrupt our ‘real’ environments, complicating our interactions with people and places by bridging multiple connections.