The Farmer of the last 5,000 years has had an always on, always working job out of necessity. Cows need milked, every day. He can’t turn them off, he can’t deprive a cow of water on a Saturday night.
I wonder what a farmer would think of today’s smartphone owner who can’t stop working.
I read an article this morning entitled “How the Smartphone Killed the Three-Day Weekend”. The article outlines how 35% of Americans are constantly connected to their offices over weekeends and holidays via smartphones and email, and as a result, are
- more stressed,
- losing sleep,
- and are more depressed.
Why can’t Americans turn off, or, as some have called it, take a “tech sabbath”?
Buy Why the Desire to Always Work?
Certainly any among us can stay disconnected by turning off the data switch on their phone, or unplugging the computer. But that doesn’t happen. You have to pet the cow.
Reason #1 – The Economy
To stay ahead of your competition and your co-workers, you have to work 2x as hard, and there is an obligation to keep a clean inbox. Do I buy this idea?
Reason #2 – Exaggerated Sense of our Own Importance
The 5″ smartphone that you hold in your hand makes you feel like the world will end unless you take action. A conversation will stop unless you respond, or an order won’t be placed or managed unless you click a certain box or FORWARD your message to the next person down the line.
Each in our own worlds, it’s tough to not think that so much revolves around us. In truth, when it comes to inboxes, we are each just a cog in a wheel. Because we are away on weekends out of view of an office, we each have our own LinkedIn profiles, and we don’t physically see the 30 other people in our own organization doing very similar things, self-aggrandizing is inevitable.
Reason #3 – The Farmer Mentality
In almost any likelihood, being 2 generations or 15 generations back, each of us have ancestors who were farmers. Every Day, and Every Season was very similar to the one before:
- Do daily chores
- Have those depending on me
- No one else to do the work
- Have 8 kids so they can work on the farm too.
There was never a day off in the farmhouse- cows to milk, chickens to feed, pigs to muck (I don’t know what that is, but it sounds right) and of course, fields to check on.
Is the farmer life ingrained in our psyche of today? Do we have a need to feel responsible? Do we hate to have others waiting on us, oink?
Do you hand your smartphone to your eldest of 8 children to manage things for you? no, but you do press the forward button.
I would have to say that it’s a little bit of all three reasons. How about you, others?