Way of the Wi-Fi Warrior
By Eric Lin, Fri Jan 16 01:00:00 GMT 2004

Between Wi-Fi, GPRS, 1x and other emerging mobile data technologies, people can get online from just about anywhere. But now that the borders between online and offline zones is blurring, the borders between work and personal time seem to be slipping too.


The New York Times tells stories of home and small business who use Wi-Fi to extend their workplace. Most of the examples are users who have installed Wi-Fi in their home to extend the office beyond the traditional spare bedroom. One factor all the interviews seem to share is that although it "frees" users to work where they like, having internet anywhere in the home also blurs the borders between work and home. It's difficult for them to put the work away.

CNN goes beyond Wi-Fi, and beyond the walls of the home office to interview business travelers. While the Times focuses more on business invading personal space (not surprising for those with home offices), CNN genuinely takes on the blurring of the two. Business travelers use the same methods of communication for work as well as personal needs. No matter where they are, they're on the job and they're also available to their loved ones.

Both articles point out that separating work and play becomes increasingly difficult as we use the same devices and technologies for each. While they both warn us of the dangers of letting work invade your personal life, CNN seems far more upbeat about the possibilities of mobile data. They point out that manufacturers and users are creating better tools and habits to separate the different aspects of their lives, even if they use the same tools for each of them.