The online world has become such a staple in our daily lives hat many of us stay connected even during the holidays.
It could be a habit or maybe a fear that we might miss something. Perhaps we work in fields of technology or social media or have to be 'on call.' Some may stay connected because it gives us peace of mind.
I asked folks on my social networks if they will be unplugging for the holidays. All but one person said no.
Mary Pratt, Business Development Consultant for The Patriot-News, said, "How could you possibly? I'd feel so out of touch."
Many who work in an online field told me that unplugging is simply not an option. Scott Thomas, Owner of S.W. Thomas Consultants, Inc. said on Twitter, "Not me, I'll be working [...] I am a 24/7/365 operation."
On Facebook, Megan Barto, Internet Sales Director for Ciocca Honda, said, "NEVER!!!" William Duquet of INTEC said, "It's not possible."
I believe the reason we stay connected can encompass all of these things, but I do believe many feel like we are expected to be responsive 24/7. The economy is still inching toward recovery and customer service is a defining factor in customer satisfaction. Most customers are going online to fulfill orders, complain, or make requests that we feel need an immediate response.
Moreover, our Smartphone is always available and our volume of email is so large that many feel the need to constant check it in order to stay on top of everything.
If we're not unplugging, are we burnt out because we feel like we can never escape work?
In Germany, Volkswagen made the decision to shut down workers' Blackberry email service at night to protect non-exempt employees from spending 24-hours around the clock attached to their work email. The reasoning behind this decision is to create a better work-life balance.
I believe burn out depends on our purpose for being online, who we are and where our priorities lie. Some of us actually enjoy being online and use the connectedness to fulfill our social needs. Others of us are workaholics, by nature. The online world only upped the ante. If we're prone to working a lot, I think we would feel burn out regardless.
I don't think there is a right or wrong and I don't think it's black and white. It's about being who we are and being comfortable with it. I sincerely hope family life doesn't suffer because of the online world, but I still think it's an individual choice. Helen Szollosy, Owner of LAFOLOT, said on Facebook, "LIFE is a holiday ... I like staying CONNECTED ...It's all in how you look at it.... what's great is ... we HAVE a CHOICE!"
Will you be unplugging for the holiday? Why or why not?