Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bound By Technology

Photo by Eli Chamberlin

Just the other day, I was reading an article about Stan Richards humbly attributing his success to the simple act of he and his staff getting to work on-time. I began to wonder about this statement as it pertains to the world we live in today and asked myself what does on-time really mean? Mr. Richards is referring to a very old school of thought where people clocked in and out each and every work day and enjoyed their own time as it was in the days of nine to five. Now that nine to five work day has never worked real well in the ad business so make that eight to whenever or even never going home in some instances when you're pitching an account or working some insane deadline.

As I began to ponder when my work day begins and ends, I was hit with the realization that it has exceeded any real boundaries. With my mobile phone helld (yes I meant to spell it that way) close to me at all times, I can't seem to get away from it. Texting, emailing, voice mail…the way we're all working and communicating seems endless.

There are some that will read this and think they unplug on their vacation. Really? I just saw all your pics on Facebook…have you really left the world behind?

I envy my father as he represents a generation that knew when and how to shut it all down. Throwing a bunch of guns or fishing rods in the back of that old green Pontiac, we would usually tail out on a Friday and come home late Saturday. No mobile communication which shames the now modern day me as I'm never without my mobile phone allowing it to interfere with my time and my family.

Think you're above the problem? Here are a few questions written by Daniel Sieberg who writes for the Washington Post which you may want to mull over.

1. Have you ever realized that you were texting or checking your email while your child was telling you about his or her day at school?

2. Have you ever felt that something hasn't really happened until you post it on Facebook?

3. Does a flashing red light or alert sound on your mobile device make your heart flutter?

4. Are you spending time with your spouse or significant other without talking to each other because you're each immersed in a different device?

If you answered yes to at least a couple of these questions, you're among the millions of Americans being overrun by technology.

Time acts differently as I've become older. I remember school seemed like it would never end and months seemed to drag on endlessly which is certainly not the case these days. Ten years ago feels like last week as I squeeze pants around an ever expanding waist line and struggle to focus on really tiny type. I'm almost in a state of shock with each school event I attend watching all of my boys slowly become young men.

As we all check our mobile devises and read endless emails, perhaps we should all wonder if Stan Richards had it right all along. His success may truly be attributed to getting to work on-time. And that time which is considered to be work time is exactly that. Which would mean that time spent away from work is not work at all but a blessing.

The blessing of time given to each one of us to unplug and enjoy.