Thursday, August 31, 2006

Summer's impending end

I notice by the little date thing in the corner of my laptop's screen that it is August 31st today. I think I'm suffering from a touch of psychological whiplash as I wonder where the summer went and why it had to whiz by so quickly.

(Quick aside: I know summer doesn't officially end until September 22nd. But we all know that September's arrival is pretty much the end of the season as we know it. The next three weeks are a mere technicality. Digression ends.)

In a bit of a timely coincidence, I was quoted by Dan McLean in today's Globe and Mail (page B6 if you're reading the print edition) in a piece entitled The PC at 25: Amazing innovation, with a dark side. Mr. McLean is also IT World Canada's editor-in-chief. He refers to our earlier press release on work-life balance (see here and here for background.) This is what I said (in context):
PCs, notebooks and PDAs (personal digital assistants) are the tethers that bind people to their jobs, wherever they happen to be.

Info-Tech senior research analyst Carmi Levy says there's a struggle to balance work with personal lives.

"This is the dark side of mobile communications," he said in a press release from the company.

"The reality is the lines are totally blurred between personal and private time because we now have the technology to virtually take the office on vacation with us. And no one wants to hear Donald Trump's classic phrase 'you're fired' because they took their eyes off e-mail to go to a baseball game."

Maybe we were so busy focused on the work world that we forgot to pay attention to the all-too-short summer season that's now rapidly giving way to chilly autumn nights and the rush to get the kids back to school.

Just thinking...

Your turn: Are we taking the time to smell the flowers? Or is technology out-accelerating our ability to keep the speed of life manageable? Can there ever be a balance? How?

Media update: Had a bit of a busy media day today. Here's a rundown of the other pieces that were published today:
In the first piece, I provide comment on the impact of the just-announced U.S. Department of Justice extension of some terms related to the 2002 antitrust settlement it enforced against Microsoft. In the second, I provide context on Ryanair's announcement that it will provide in-flight cellular phone service. I touched on Boeing's failed Connexion service to place this latest announcement in context. Funny how I somehow know about aviation technology, too. Cool!


Anonymous said...

My recurring thought on our collective state of electronic dependence is; are we the beneficaries of this largess or, are we the victims, forever needy for the next faster this or more efficient that.

pilgrimchick said...

People rarely do as you suggest--to take time to smell the roses, so to speak, but that may not be the reason why summer seems to pass so quickly. I think that since the way our childhoods were structured, we see the summer as our "freedom" time when there are more options to take advantage of, and I think it "flies" by in our perception because we run back into a time fram we classify unconsciously as "status quo" and somewhat lacking.

Panthergirl said...

Very timely question. I'm on "vacation" this week, hoping to spend the time with my son before he goes back to school next Wednesday, and I've been working almost every day.

Without email, and my blackberry, this never would have been the case in the past. I wouldn't have checked my voicemail messages, I would happily have left work stuff behind.

Instead, I find myself unable to ignore the emails as I see them come in. I know that if I do, I'll be unable to get caught up next week.

Ugh. I just want to win Lotto and never work again.

Here via michele!!

Anonymous said...

Everyone has a balance - there has to be balance - once things warp, problems begin. In everything....
Thanks for visiting via Michele's and I'm right back at ya!

Brenda said...

My daughter went back to school on August 7th, so her summer ended a month ago. As for the weather, our summer won't truly end until late October. And as you mentioned, the official season is over on September 22nd. But the summers of my youth are no where to be found.

I think we are fortunate that there are an abundance of opportunities available to us - but there is still the concern that we over-schedule our days.

We provide our children with so many activities (and with the best of intentions: little league, dance classes, gymnastics - and in the end, they never get a chance to sleep late on a Saturday morning, blow bubbles or catch lightning bugs in the back yard or go on vacation without being shackled to their own cell phones and text messages.

Meanwhile, we carry our lap tops and two cell phones so we can access both our personal and work emails as well as voice mails - home, office & cellular. There is no reason why we can't be reached 24 hours a day. And never a moment that we can disappear without a well-orchestrated plan in place.

A fine line between slave and master! And yet, we are so blessed.

Karen said...

Carmi, this is oh, so true and a little bit scary too! We are all too available to each other. We definitely need to learn to live life unplugged, once in a while. Otherwise, we're teaching our kids a very dangerous lesson.

Here via Michele's tonight. Have a great evening!

LBA said...

Ahh .. life as we know it .. getting faster and more all-encompassing all the time. I often think of the start of the Industrial Revolution when thinking about current life ..

I however, love a garden, love tending to it, and smelling the flowers. I would go nuts without its calming effect on me.
And it's the first day of Spring today where I live, so the world is my fragrant oyster ;)

utenzi said...

Michele sent me to see you, Carmi. Hi!

I spend way to much time on the computer and that keeps me away from the flower sniffing stuff. Fortunately my interest in photography allows some balance to creep in. But even there it's more to play with a toy than the true enjoyment of nature for its own sake.

I agree with you about the dating of Summer. Back when I was a kid it was the start of school right after Labor Day and now it's just September First. Today's the last day of Summer for me too.

srp said...

Back from Michele.

I have taken time to smell the flowers now. I loved it. Maybe too much. Now it is time, actually past time to get going and get back to doing what I am trained to do. At least I hope to find a position.

Anonymous said...

I love word "whiplash" used here. Time goes by fast when your having fun!

We're getting some rain and wind, but nothing too serious here in Virginia.