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Tyranny of the laptop


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May 02, 2005

Tyranny of the laptop

Stephen Baker

Is the person who posted this picture (on Flickr) enjoying breakfast in San Diego? Or is that laptop linking him to work? A thought that comes to mind after my first weekend blogging. In one sense, it brings lots of freedom. But if you ask my family about it, I had this laptop out on the dining room table and was doing something for much of the weekend that looked a lot like work.

As blogging spreads into mainstream work, many of us are going to have to work hard to set limits and protect our free time.

08:35 AM

mainstream media

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Blogging and/or working on the weekend is a pretty regular thing these days. That's a pretty amazing looking waffle by the way. I can see why they wanted to take a picture of it.

Posted by: Greg at May 2, 2005 09:11 AM

Stephen :: As someone who employs himself, I'm used to working all hours anyway. The laptop certainly facilitates that. Blogging is just another thing to do in a long trail (tail?) of other things to do.

If employees find themselves blogging for the comany in their own time, they should look at their contracts again.

Posted by: John Evans at May 2, 2005 09:50 AM

Nah. You're problem is that blogging is part of your job. My main challenge is not wasting too much time at work on my blog.

However, I do not dispute the addictive quality of the blog -- especially ones with good readerships and quick feedback. It's like being one of the rats in the experiments. Doing a certain action (posting something interesting) gets you a reward (people commenting). You have to control yourself not to be pressing that little button all the time. Or at least, I do.

Posted by: Oriana at May 2, 2005 10:31 AM

You might want to check into the book: Turn it Off -- http://www.turnitoff.com. And Turn off the PC Week is coming up soon -- http://www.pcturnoff.org.

Posted by: Ken Leebow at May 2, 2005 02:32 PM

Someone with a laptop isn't necessarily "working" (at a paying job). I've had a blog on community planning issues for over a year now, that has nothing to do with my "real" job. It's a hobby. I also sometimes travel with my laptop specifically so I can download and save vacation digital photos (one card glitch, and there go all my precious images), without necessarily doing "work."

That said, though, it's still a wise thing to set aside blocks of time when you're not "connected," whether you're online for business OR pleasure. It's important to make time to *experience* your life as well as report on it (or read reports about other people's experiences), no matter how much you enjoy tech toys.

Posted by: Sharon Gartenberg at May 2, 2005 03:40 PM

These comments make me think of the commercial that have morticians thanking the working public for working themselves to death...

Go out and do some interesting non-work, non-blog related activities. Otherwise, there won't be anything to blog about!

Posted by: Beau at May 2, 2005 04:30 PM


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