Work, not gadgets, is keeping you disconnected from the real world

Over at the Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal has a terrific essay about the problem with blaming gadgets for our inability to "unplug" from work. The issue isn't that our gadgets are addictive, he argues. Instead, it's that middle class professionals are tethered to their workplaces via their gadgets — often 24 hours per day. Blaming shiny new tablets and social media apps for our absence from the real world is distracting us from placing blame where it's due: On jobs where bosses demand unreasonable working hours.

Madrigal writes:

Imagine if 19th-century factory workers blamed the clock for the length of their work days. The answer to the horrible working conditions of the late 19th century was not to smash the clocks or the steam engines! The solution was to organize and fight for your right to a 40-hour week and paid vacations.

Much of our compulsive connectedness (insofar as it exists) is a symptom of a greater problem, not the problem itself.

Read the whole essay at The Atlantic.