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Oh, Take a Chill Pill

By - April 05, 2008

…no matter what, some folks will work themselves to death. Why is doing it as a blogger any different? Yet another NYT story that, were it not for the word “internet”, would not be a story.

Update: JG has a good point here.

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6 thoughts on “Oh, Take a Chill Pill

  1. JG says:

    Mmm. I think I mostly agree with you, John, about taking a chill pill, about how some people overwork themselves no matter what.

    But this paragraph from the article gave me at least some pause, at least some room for doubt:

    Even at established companies, the Internet has changed the nature of work, allowing people to set up virtual offices and work from anywhere at any time. That flexibility has a downside, in that workers are always a click away from the burdens of the office. For obsessive information workers, that can mean never leaving the house.

    I think there is something to that statement. Maybe it’s not 100% the root cause of people overworking themselves to death. But there is definitely something to the notion of “anywhere, anytime means everywhere, all the time”.

    Let me put it this way: As techno-utopians, we believe that the internet changes things, right? C’mon.. I was a die-hard Wired true believer back in the mid-90s. I know the attitude. The internet is different, right?

    And if we truly believe that the internet is a social/political/economic change engine, that fundamentally different things happen because of the internet that couldn’t have happened before, then we have to be honest enough with ourselves to admit that those changes can be both positive and negative.

    John, you write: “Yet another NYT story that, were it not for the word “internet”, would not be a story.

    All I am saying is that you/I/we shouldn’t be so dismissive, just because of the word “internet”. Even people who work themselves to death in their offices, late into the night, eating bad take-out, had to leave their offices at some point. In order to go home, they have to walk outside, catch some fresh air, walk up or down a couple of stairs to get to the subway. That travel period gives them a modicum of real contact with real people. A nod. Maybe sometimes even a smile. An eye-flick of recognition from the newspaper vendor on the corner. Those small things are sustaining, life-affirming, human. And those things, no matter how small, do help reduce stress.

    The internet changes that. Again, this is what we have to admit to ourselves that we believe. The internet makes things different. Yes, we’d like all of it to be different-better. But sometimes it is different-worse. And one way it could very well be different-worse is that blogging for a living, from home, means you lose all those little moments of human contact, of a little bit of exercise, of a little bit of fresh air.

    And now the internet has changed that. The internet has made it possible to work and never leave your bedroom. You lose those stress-reduction outlets.

    All I am saying is that fact has got to count for something. Let me reiterate: I’m mostly in agreement with you about the chill pill, here. I think it’s mostly a non-story. But there are some larger truths underneath the surface.

  2. Its really sad that people like Mr. Shaw die this way. Internet has changed people’s life drastically. Once upon a time, people used to publish newspapers everyday and news take place on every hour on tv. But for bloggers, 24 hours are possible for posting.
    Sometimes its better to put your ambition aside. It doesnt have to be all or nothing.

  3. Paylas Forum says:

    Thanks you for comment. Good share

  4. Paul Chaney says:

    As someone who lived in the cocoon that was my one bedroom apartment slaving away as an information/knowledge worker at all hours for days on end, rarely leaving except to grab lunch at a local deli I have to agree, heck yes, the Internet has changed things.

    The thing is, I love it so much I’d do it all over again if circumstances permitted. Thankfully, they don’t.

    Great post JG. Wish I knew who you were.

  5. arsiv burada says:

    And now the internet has changed that. The internet has made it possible to work and never leave your bedroom. You lose those stress-reduction outlets.

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