1 June 2011

Age of Leisure Ah Yes, The Six Hour Work Week Post 2

Posted by Jody under: Home .

Today

Jump forward some thirty or so years. You’re plugged in, wired, constantly in touch. Working harder than ever before.

The fact of the matter is that far from providing you a leisure lifestyle, technology has come to rob you of much of your free time. The concept of the two day work week remains but a quaint myth, a relic of an over-enthusiastic reception to computers.

It is supremely ironic that the very technology that was supposed to free us has enslaved us instead. E-mail, fax machines, telephones, cell phones, laptop computers – all of these devices conspire to ensnare us in a global web of constant communication. We’ve managed to put ourselves in a situation in which people can get a hold of us at any time, anywhere. This wired life of ours is hurried and rushed.

Clearly the early promoters of the computer revolution had it wrong. Even Donald Michael’s prediction has failed to come about. The fact is, many wives have followed their husbands out into the workforce in order to support the ubiquitous two income family. Far from forcing a husband and wife to spend too much time together at home, the real impact has been that family time can be for many, but a fleeting and precious moment.

Maybe computers are taking revenge on us for our dirty deeds in mutilating a punch card.

Tomorrow:

But is the concept of the “leisure age” but a myth? Maybe not. And perhaps Donald Michael was right in at least predicting that the computer would allow for more family time, although not in as negative way as he supposed.

As the world has become wired, the opportunity has come about by which people can work from anywhere at any time. One likelihood is that an increasing number of professionals will take advantage of this fact. They’ll make career decisions based upon the lifestyle afforded by being plugged in. They will choose to become nomadic workers, offering their skills and capabilities to the corporate world from wherever they might choose. The “electronic cottage” will have become a reality.

Yes, they will still be working, but will come to enjoy their own unique version of the “leisure age.” They’ll be able to spend more time with their children, and more time with each other, as a result of working at home.

As for the punch card? No doubt we will discover some very astute people in the future. They will have known that it is inevitable that a very healthy market was bound to emerge. They’ll be making a killing once these paper relics from the dawn of the computer age achieve an exalted antique status.

The rest of us will have come to regret each and every punch card that we might have ever spindled.

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