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[- Are you on vacation? Can I go with you?
By amy, Section question corner
Posted on Fri Aug 22nd, 2003 at 08:11:30 AM EURODISCORDIA TIME
Happy Late August! The Boston Globe has this story about how Americans, who on average get/take comparatively little vacation as it is, are now moving more and more toward "working vacations." The longterm trend toward decreasing vacation in the US is old news. But one bit of the story, which I suspect might not be US-specific, caught my eye in particular...


[ --------------------------------------------- ]

From the article:

The irony is that ''working vacation'' came into the lingo with a wink and a nod. Now the ruse has become a reality. Fully equipped with the toys of e-mail, voice mail, cellphones, labor trumps leisure. It's the reason why 83 percent of vacationers, tethered by technology and anxiety and expectations, check in at the office.

83%??? Dang, should we believe that? Well maybe we should. I've been struggling to take a 'real' vacation all summer, but instead have had bits and pieces of leisure here and there in between other things. Which means, some days of not checking e-mail for awhile, either for relaxation or technical reasons... That seems perfectly reasonable to me, as I've never considered that people were expected to be tethered to their keyboards. However, my correspondents often react with dismay or apparent disbelief, continuing to mail me to ask me to respond to things even after I've explained I'll be offline. Why is that? We've discussed on Discordia in the past people's differing perceptions of the "presence" of other humans via e-mail. Cyberspace presence is a topic that I usually don't find all that interesting in the 'are we becoming post-human cyborgs?' context. I'm personally more interested in where our minds might be going than our bodies. Of course, those *are* somewhat interrelated. Raise your hand if you've got repetitive stress injury; woops - other hand...

Anyway, it seems that now that more people have "always on" internet connections, our minds are expected to be "always on" - or "always online" - too. Your thoughts? Is this all really a US-only phenomenon, or are the packets of human perpetualness pinging around in your country too?

Well, see you later - I'll be down at the beach...

[ --------------------------------------------- ]

Are you on vacation? Can I go with you? | 2 comments
[new] You are already with me?!? (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#1)
by PeterHuetmannsberger (huetmann <at> on Sun Aug 24th, 2003 at 12:23:34 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
(User Info)

This is one article I could happily have done without. Only last night at a party, we didn't get to until way after 10 pm, for various work related reasons "guilt" and "work" and "summer" became a topic.

"I work, therefore I am" seems to have become the norm these days, and every time I want to escape this trap, there is an Internet Cafe round the corner, and being a system administrator amongst other things all the machines in my care pop up in my mind calling for attention. Bad organisation? I could have asked someone else to look after them. In fact I did, but why is it, that I can't take a break?

While 20 years ago, we were on the road, and our friends knew we could show up any time, today we are online, showing our virtual presence permanently. And what better excuse than to go on with our work.

Being offline, appears to be put into a state of non existence,and the postcard from Crete to our friends just takes too long to make sure the world realises we have not ceased to be.

Amongst the administrators in my immediate surroundings the question is being asked, what it would be like to not have a keyboard, and access to the Internet for 2 weeks. Turn off the mobile and be gone. I often wonder if it is possible, even thinkable. But I don't really want to know!

Down at the beach there is wireless access, you know!

Are you on vacation? Can I go with you? | 2 comments

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