As someone who has been a professional software developer for quite some time, I often joke that each year I hate technology more and more. I'm not going to "check in" on Foursquare, won't ever use a daily deal, don't do Facebook, and finally deleted my LinkedIn account last year. I'm not swearing off all technology, though — I use Twitter in place of RSS and Strava to track my rides. I believe in the selective application of technology — any tool or service I decide to use must provide some perceivable value.
I like to apply this same philosophy to my professional work environment. Now that the Viget team is spread across three locations, there are tools and services that help us communicate across offices. Having a laptop on-hand is definitely part of our strategy for having an effective distributed workforce. This, too, is a double-edged sword. I've seen instances where having a laptop in a meeting can quickly connect people across offices, allow someone to perform some rapid on-the-spot research, and even be an effective tool in a remote interviewing situation.
However, as useful as this technology can be, I've also witnessed how quickly it can derail an otherwise productive meeting. Here are three reasons why I think laptops can be meeting poison: