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Then: Nine to Five

Now: 24/7

Way back in the day (as today's teenagers call it) before cell phones, e-mails, text messages, before all this instant communication, we used to have set hours for work, hours for play, hours for studying, eating, sleeping and so on.  In other words, whatever activity we were involved in, that particular activity had 100% of our attention.  Most of the time.  I still daydreamed in class and wrote notes to my friends, but that was it.  I couldn't send text messages and get instant replies.  I pretty much had to pay attention to those people in the room with me.  

When we joined the work force, we had regular hours.  Be it  "nine to five" or "seven to four" or "three to eleven."  Whatever our hours of employment were, we put in that time.  And other than one or two personal phone calls a day, we talked to our co-workers, did our jobs and then went home.  Where we then had the dinner hour, TV time, homework time or whatever.  I think you get the picture.  

And Sunday was a day for spending with your family.  Stores and malls were not open. Not that I don't like shopping on a Sunday, but it was nice that the merchants had a day off.  A day when they didn't have to feel they would be losing business if they didn't stay open like everyone else around them.  

Now we're on 24/7.  Always connected to each other.  Using that expression back in the sixties and seventies would have gotten us some very strange looks.  For anyone interested, the term started with basketball player Jerry Reynolds who was referring to his jump shot being, “good 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year“.   It has come to mean so much more than that.      

When I think of 24/7 - I see this giant spider web.  Trillions of threads connecting everyone together.  From work to the gym to the park to the restaurant to the airport to the moon.  It's everywhere.  We're all tangled up in this humongous conglomeration and sometimes it's really hard to break away.

Work follows us through the drive home and into our bedrooms.  Friends can find us wherever we are.  

Some of this is good.  But I think that some new psychological problems must be popping up on the therapist's couch.  

To name just a few:

Instant Message Disorder (IMD) – Obsessing over why you haven't received an answer yet.  Why, it's been thirty seconds!   Texting Trauma (TT) - Misinterpretation of the text meaning.  Message Retrieval Anxiety (MRA) - Unable to find an important message.  Ringtone Identity Crisis (RIC) -  Confusion over choosing the tone that best represents who you are.        

Not to mention the physical ailments of Texting Thumbness, Crooked Necked Syndrome and Jingled Ear Drums (hearing your cell phone ring, even when there is no service where you are located.)

I'm just as addicted as the next person.  Today, I went to get my car washed.  I brought along a book.  Back in the day, I would have sat and read it.  Or people-watched.  Today, I made phone calls catching up with friends that I've been too busy to talk to during the week.  

I'm not saying we should go back to those old days.  But if it's 24/7 now, what will the future bring?



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tinaf wrote Apr 19, 2009
    • Janie, you hit the nail right on the head.  It used to be everything had its time and place...and now it all blurs.  Don’t know if it’s good or not...  

      And I loved hearing the derivation of 24/7, never knew that!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Justjer wrote Apr 19, 2009
    • J
      I also learned something about what I thought was a marketing gem from a convenience store.  And when did Mr. Reynolds make this comment and why has he not sued for some kind of copyright infringement.  I think some people have always been more connected than others.  In fact, Janie, I would not be surprised if you went to the phone booth ‘back in the day’ to stay in touch. And how nice for those who were and continue to be touched by you.  Present company included.  J



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Apr 19, 2009
    • Tina - I don’t think it’s good or bad.  It’s just life.

      Justjer - Mr. Reynolds made that comment back in 1983.  And yes, I’ve always liked to stay in touch, especially with such wonderful friends as you!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote Apr 19, 2009
    • It’s about balance. Too much of anything is never good. I guess disciplining ourselves is important. For example, when you don’t have your computer on for a few hours, don’t you pay attention to or get more done? We‘re all guilty of this. It’s something I’ve been paying attention to lately.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Apr 19, 2009
    • Jenz41 - Everything in moderation has always been my motto.  And yes, sometimes if I don’t sit down at my computer (when I’m not working) I do get more accomplished.

      Have a great evening.

      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lindao wrote Apr 20, 2009
    • As a writer, I’m definitely working 24/7, Janie, and am nearly always on-line (other than yesterday, a rare day when I didn’t boot up at all).  I admit that I’m slow to latch on to some of today’s technology and although I always have my cell phone with me I don’t text very much.  With all the “diseases” you mentioned, I now have a better excuse not to! —LindaO



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pamaloon wrote Apr 20, 2009
    • Hey Janie!

      Don’t forget blogging - and following blogs, and posting on them, and RSS feeds to tell you when someone has posted on your post! It’s never ending! I just got an email from my stepdaughter to join LinkEd - so I can be MORE linked than I already am.

      I think we are becoming the Borg (for all you Trekkies out there!) LOL.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Apr 21, 2009
    • So true Janie,  

      Not only are we on 24/7 we are mult-tasking on top of it. I caught myself the other day answering emails, having an ipod in one ear while having a conversation on a cell phone with my friend. When I hung up I thought to myself that I didn’t enjoy my music nor did I enjoy my conversation and my email was written poorly. I promised myself never to do that again, who is betting that I’ll keep my end of the bargain?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Encee wrote Apr 22, 2009
    • Yes, this is true.  I’m just as guilty as the next person.  Get up in the AM, do a bit of exercise and it’s over to the computer, with my cell phone in my hand to look for text messages while I’m at it.  

      I hear people ask all the time, “how did we ever live without all this high-tech stuff?”  I’m sure I did, but I just can’t imagine it now!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Apr 24, 2009
    • Pam - How could I ever forget blogging! I addicted to it.

      Yana - I’ll bet you keep it for just a few days!  Everything you said is so true.

      Nancy -  It is hard to imagine life without all this high-tech stuff.  My grandkids don’t even know a typewriter is!

      Thanks ladies for your comments.



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