Two computers

I have two computers on my desk at the office.  One is the generic HP my company provides and the other is my MacBook Pro.

I’ve be a two computer guy for a more than a year and haven’t really thought twice about it.  The other day though I was talking to John Cass in Las Vegas and he suggested that I explain the logic behind this.

The main reason is that I want to separate my personal life from my professional life (notice I didn’t say my professional life from my personal life).  I want to be able to listen to MY music, chat with MY friends, send and receive MY emails, post to MY blogs, upload MY photos to MY Flickr account, etc.

I don’t expect my company (Weber Shandwick) to support me in these activities.  I also don’t want to clog up my work computer with fragments of my personal life.  I don’t want to have the applications I use for my online life to be defined or constrained or managed or questioned or uninstalled.
That said, I’m more than happy to put the shoe on the other foot and to use my personal system for work.  My logic is that my work is part of my life but that my life isn’t a part of my work.  Also, when I travel, I want to be able to bring my digital life along for the ride rather than leaving it at home and making do only with its more portable elements.

Some people have questioned whether it’s appropriate for me to be blogging, posting, chatting, listening, emailing, etc. while I am at work.  Of course it is!  I think about work, write for work, talk on the phone for work, email for work all the time – at the office, at home, on weekends and evenings and on vacations – so it only seems reasonable that I can bring my personal life into my workplace.
Technology is conspiring to break down the barriers between the personal life and the professional life.  Being a two computer guy lets me preserve, protect and enjoy my personal life.  And that’s important to me.  I encourage everyone to give it a try.  If you have questions or need any help, let me know.
[tags]computer, personal life, professional life, HP, MacBook Pro, separation of home and office[/tags]


8 thoughts on “Two computers

  1. Pingback: PR Communications
  2. Greg,

    Found your post on John’s blog. This totally resonates with me and you sum it up perfectly when you say “work is part of my life but that my life isn’t a part of my work”, and like you, many of us “think about work, write for work, talk on the phone for work, email for work all the time.”

    I’d love to start bringing my personal computer to work (and even use it for work) too, except that company policies don’t allow it.

    I blog about digital strategies in PR and on my own time, I am involved with a community that aims to bring social web technologies to the grassroots; so I feel my life SHOULD BE part of my work… The only problem is that PR folks today are still seen very much as “consultants/project managers” and not “evangelists”. And the corporate restraint that follows is just maddening.

    Nice view btw 😉


  3. gpc says:

    I’ve never really understood the “no outside systems” policy (at least not in most cases). Sure, if you are working in some very sensitive industry I get it but it seems that more often than not it is just a knee-jerk blanket response. It gets to the issue of control – a fast eroding concept these days – which assumes that people are going to be OK checking their personal life at the door (but bringing work home of course).

    I’m fortunate that my company encourages and supports my blogging and social media activities. It’s important that agencies be active participants in these conversations and communities. To your point, it’s the only way that we’re going to move into the “evangelist” role.

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