Just Turn The @$!# Thing Off

from the happy-productive-citizen dept

It has never been entirely clear why unplugging is so difficult for some people, or why some allow technology to disrupt their personal relationships. Forbes offers up yet another report on married couples whose love life is suffering thanks in part to their technology and e-mail infatuation. Therapists argue that a constant digital umblical to the office creates more work and increases stress, frequently leaving couples either too busy or too tired to have sex. We’ve been seeing these reports for years now, and it seems like people just aren’t getting any better at putting down the crackberry. Of course it isn’t the technology or constant connectivity that’s causing the problems — it’s just that many people can’t let go of stress and/or distraction. Or they feel that they must stay connected to show dedication at work, even if what they’re discussing via e-mail at three in the afternoon on a Saturday isn’t all that important. While some people’s answer is to ignore technology entirely, the answer for techno-junkies has more to do with learning to relax, than learning how to master the off button.


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Comments on “Just Turn The @$!# Thing Off”

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27 Comments
WoW Junkie (user link) says:

Work is not the problem

Work was not the problem at my house World of warcraft was. and it was all my fault. I became addicted for a time and all free time went there. then wife started playing too, just to spend time with me. Next thing I know I am getting up for work, and there she is still playing from the night before!!!!. but we have both slowed down abit, and set aside Tuesday nights as unplugged day/night. (patch day on warcrack anyway :P)

Ryan (profile) says:

it's not that they can't let go

Often times, they’re not allowed to let go. Previously, I’ve been called into the boss’s office and talked sternly to for:

1.) not calling a client back for 2 days after he left me a message on the 4th of july (the next day was one of my vacation days)

2.) Not answering a client’s call on a sunday.

3.) not fixing a client’s website problem the same day, even though we were physically moving our office and had no internet.

Again, it’s not that we can’t unplug… it’s that sometimes we’re not allowed to. I’ve since changed jobs.

Dave says:

Re: Need better tech?

Jim said:
=============
Maybe what we need is not better tech but rather better training for tech bosses. Too many bosses who have never been techies demand things that are electronically impossible.
=============

Good point, Jim. My boss is one (maybe two) of those who don’t understand the limits of technology (or human effort for that matter) When I get something don, he wants it right away. If I tell him I want time for testing, he doesn’t give it to me, but he is the first one to drag me down to the end-users desk to point at a runtime error ๐Ÿ˜›

Sean says:

Survival instinct

I’ve been working on this theory that I think may apply here. Obviously humans are animals, and therefore prone to all the same urges; survival, hunger, procreation, etc. The problem is that in the United States (and other developed countries) these urges have no outlet due to the highest standard of living humans have ever known coupled with the freedom to fully indulge that standard of living (mostly talking about the USA here). In this case managers have a survival instinct that is linked to the company. A million years ago those same people would have protected their herd. Just a thought…

Needing a vacation says:

Good bosses

I think the point was nailed around bosses, not job security. If you are worried about losing your job because you didn’t cover email on a weekend, you are either lousy at your job, or work for a lousy company and need a new job anyway.

I’m fortunate in that I have a great boss. She has even forced he business users we support to contact her when I’m vacation. I think she does this because most won’t call her because they know things can wait until I get back. I also make it a point to go somewhere I can’t connect. Tent/primative camping in a national forest is normally a good choice. There are lots of places cell phones won’t work, so any connectivity isn’t possible. Bummer. ๐Ÿ™‚

"ill" duce says:

Insecurity and Tech

This is not just about work adn tech, it’s about life and tech. I see so many cars going down the street with the guy driving and the woman on the phone.
My theory is that people in this acountry are afraid to be alone with their own thoughts. It has nothing to do with work ethic and everything to do with insecurity. When you’re alone with your thoughts, you may start second-guessing your choices and your entire way of life and that scares people.

Celeste says:

maybe its them

I recently changed banks from a national one to a local one. My first bank had 24 hour service so I could call any time I wanted, even 3 in the morning. Now with my new bank I have to wait till tomorrow to talk to them because they closed for the holiday. It’s killing me to wait. We have been spoiled my instant access where ever, when ever…

Xanius says:

Not only that....

I see so many cars going down the street with the guy driving and the woman on the phone.
My theory is that people in this acountry are afraid to be alone with their own thoughts.
================

It’s not only afraid to be with their thoughts but it’s a fear of silence in general. I know a lot of people that can’t stand to not have something said or playing or anything for even a couple minutes.

Though, I’ll admit that there are times where I don’t feel like getting off the computer, usually after an extremely stress filled day and I need to zone out for a couple hours while playing games.

JA says:

The most fun I ever had in New York was during the

The Blackout we had in New York a few years back was the best time I ever had in New York. Everyone walked home even to Brooklyn (across the bridge), talking, drinking free and discounted import beers that shop owners were offering, and generally laughing it up together for 3 whole days. Neighbors who never spoke were talking, and everyone was out walking and bar-b-q-ing. The minute the electricity went back on the whole population went back into their antisocial cellular/internet hole. Man I wish we had another blackout.

misanthropic humanist says:

beware of thinking

“The things you own end up owning you” – Tyler (Fight Club)

If technology ceases to be an enabling slave and becomes your master, dump it. If any person ceases to be good for your physical and spititual wellbeing by enslaving you through a technological proxy, dump them. If you find yourself unable to break that bond then you are a slave and an addict.

“My theory is that people in this acountry are afraid to be alone with their own thoughts. It has nothing to do with work ethic and everything to do with insecurity.

I like this Ill Duce guy already ๐Ÿ˜‰

Maybe not “insecurity”, you already said the word in the first part, it is fear. Douglas Adams explained this thus: “If humans don’t keep exercising their jaws, their brains start working”. Many people are extrememly uncomfortable with that sensation, the sensation of thought. If original ideas start uncontrollably popping into their heads they panic. Some people quite lose it, they start to think they are schizophrenic or that God is talking to them, or that aliens or the CIA are beaming messages into their heads.

Now, I have to find another post to reply to or the saucer people will start making me do things again….

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