It’s happening to more and more of us. On Sunday evening, we open up our dazzling personal computing devices and enter an entirely different place, an online world that is virtual yet rich in understanding, global yet intimate and, while running on silicon and fibre, refreshingly human. It’s a place of friendship, ideas and commerce, the best and most obvious place for many genuine moments of engagement. We’re learning — very quickly — how to merge this highly personalized virtual world into our physical worlds, often greatly enhancing both places. We’re becoming conscious of not just the utility but, yes, the transformation that broadband, mobility and social computing have brought to our lives. Personal technology has become an enhancer, a multiplier, in our personal lives.

Then Monday morning arrives.

After once again suffering through the indignity, inefficiency and unsustainability of another commute, we settle in at our desks. As the PC hums through its bootup process, our eyes dart between the enterprise applications loading on the screen and the flashing red voicemail light on the phone. Yes, the standard-issue computer provides access to standardized systems of record yet offers precious little human engagement.

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