In today's work place, there is such a frenetic drive to produce, to keep current, to stay on top, to avoid slipping in the employment environment. Competition is real in the workplace, and many feel anxiety over their employment situation. If the boss is emailing you at ten-thirty on a Saturday night, are you supposed to respond? What happens if you do? What happens if you don't? What happens if that obnoxious coworker who sits next to you responds before you do? Does that mean she'll gain status and favor over you? All of this produces anxiety because work is money and money is security.
As the boundaries between home and work and access blur, you may decide that if you can be online, you should be online, whether it's during typical work hours or not. So you feel compelled to be online, constantly checking "the flow." Not knowing what is happening and what you're missing is stressful and makes you anxious, so you relieve that anxiety through constant monitoring.
It's said, "No vacation goes unpunished." It plays on the cliche "No good deed goes unpunished" and is just recognition that in today's world, with the flood of information we have to deal with, being disconnected from work for very long carries its own punishment. There's all the extra work to prepare for a vacation, then all the extra work to recover from one.
Sometimes it can seem so troublesome to take a vacation that it hardly seems worth it. I read a story recently about the amount of unused vacation time American workers leave on the table every year. Last year the figure was $67 billion. We're not using all of our vacation, and more and more of us, even while on vacation, are making sure to go online to work at least once a day to clear out email and just keep track of what's going on.
I'm sure there are some jobs where you can just leave and have all of your tasks, duties, and obligations handled by someone else in your absence, but those are the exception, not the rule.
The above is excerpted from #Hooked: The Pitfalls of Media, Technology and Social Networking by Dr. Gregory Jantz.