Demise of the ‘9-to-5’ worker

No, I’m not talking about me. I’ve become accustomed to the rigors of the journalism world. I had a teacher once tell me that, “journalism has no hours,” but I digress.

Escaping the hassle of work has become nearly impossible with the onslaught of advances in technology.

I hear it every day when I go home. My dad’s cell phone constantly goes off, chirping wildly through the night with e-mails from his job.

Slowly, over the past decade or so, I have watched my father get off the train at Arlington Station (after work) hoping for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, only to fall victim to the slow, insidious influx of technology attached to his hip like a tumor (AKA Smartphone) – sucking his free time away in the form of “urgent” e-mails, text messages and phone calls.

I always hear people talking about what has changed today; why America seems so stressed out with everything going on in the world. No one, it seems, takes time to just stop and look at the world around them anymore.

In my own personal life, I look back at my college career and wonder where all the time went. Growing up in this high tech age, I, like many my age were unable to slow down and appreciate the finer things as they happened. It was a constant rush to get money, to get the latest phone, the latest shoes, or even just to pay tuition.

Every year, my family ventures to the Adirondacks in upstate New York. The best part of the trip is making that one, blessed turn onto Rt. 28 North where cell phone service vanishes (yes, such places do exist!).

It’s the most relaxed you’ll ever see my father, or the countless others who escape the urban jungle in favor of this vast mountain range.

The following suggestion may sound like something straight from our Message for the Soul columnist, Shweta Punjabi, but it bears repeating. Take a minute to appreciate everything around you. Whether it’s going to your kid’s Little League game or just taking a short walk in the park before the sun retreats — try to enjoy the peaceful tranquility of life without a cell phone. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, the burden of work may lift just long enough to allow a bit of your free spirit to shine through.

—Anthony J. Machcinski

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