William's home for discarded gems and concepts-in-progress.

Welcome to William Van Winkle's blog, home for everything from notes on his latest ebooks to leftovers from his articles in CPU, Tom's Hardware, Smart Computing, and other media outlets. Check out his author pages at Amazon and Smashwords!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do You Unplug? 94% Don't.

Here's my dirty laundry: The last time I disconnected, meaning the last time I went totally off-grid, off-Internet, off-everything for more than 48 hours, was in December of 2000 while on an adventure tour in the jungles of Belize. I haven't unplugged for an entire decade.

Most days, I feel guilty about this. It's not right. Intuitively, we know that downtime is healthy. All those screens and links and messages are tools, but sometimes it's necessary to set your tools back in their box and enjoy life...real life...without distractions.

Apparently, though, I'm not alone. According to the August 2010 iPass Mobile Workforce Report, over 94% of workers do not completely unplug while on vacation.

"The majority of respondents (53.6 percent) never truly disconnected from technology," notes the report. "For the 46.4 percent of mobile employees that did disconnect from technology, their reasons for completely disconnecting were mostly situational, (e.g., in a location with poor connectivity) rather than purposeful."

Three out of every four respondents state that at least half of their "vacation" connection time is spent on work, and I'd wager that the 38.6% who classified their connections as "equal work and personal" are lying in an attempt to hold that guilt at arm's length. It takes a lot longer to carefully answer a client's email than to post "cute! lol!" on a Facebook picture.

I can't throw stones here. I'm just as technologically distracted as most people. But that doesn't make it right. The older I get, the more I value technologies that will help me minimize distractions. Unfortunately, they are few and undervalued by the market. There's no sex appeal and impulse to buy generated by quiet simplicity.

No comments:

Post a Comment