Ng: Internet and work

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Thursday, January 9, 2014


I CAME across an interesting article in The Telegraph, which featured that it is the most successful people who are obsessively using the Internet. Their goal is to be able to work more, and to excel, even when they are outside of work or the office.

This is pretty interesting because you would think that it is logical that it would be the people who are unemployed, young, or have lots of leisure time in their hands who would be spending more time on the Internet, but apparently, the people that are also the busiest and most successful are the ones who do.

According to the study, overachievers are actually the worst, because they see the Internet as an extender for them to do even more and many of them actually log in also in the middle of the night, or whenever they can to check emails, or research on something.

Thus, the Internet can be dangerous because it can make achievers burn out quickly.

Even as late as 20 years ago, there was strict separation of work and play. Many people have a delineation between office and home and once they were home, it was strictly for recreation and family time. The Internet is blurring these distinctions and it is not unusual now that people, because of the ubiquity of the Internet, will work during vacations, off hours, weekends or nights – because they can – easily.

Thus the conclusion of the study was that there is a correlation and those who work excessively would also be the most likely to have strong and compulsive Internet use – as if the person could not let go. These are the people also who became the most anxious when they are separated from their computer, or from the internet.

The study concluded that the heaviest users also will have higher risk of suffering from isolation, depression and anxiety. I am sure you have been shown polls which show many people would rather lose their TV or food rather than their Internet connection.

Meanwhile, I am also interested in another development. Going to some countries, I noted that more and more music stores are now actually selling vinyl LPs. For those of you brought up in the digital generation, it is a long play vinyl (mostly black) that used to be popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Then the cassette tape came in and then the compact disc, and of course, now most of us are listening to digital tracks in our computers and cell phones.

Apparently there is a resurgence of interest on vinyl LPS. Just like what I remember during my high school days, everybody was crazy about digital watches and there was a time when most of us were wearing these. Over the last few years, it seems like the analog watch, with a long and short hand, is back, many with old mechanical works. So is the long play record.

For the record, CD sales have dropped continuously the last 10 years as digital downloads or streaming services like Pandora became popular. The trend show that while LP sales (special niche market for audio lovers) was hovering only for about one million a year in the 1990 and early 2000s, it slowly went up to two million in 2008 and grew to over six million in 2013. This still pales in comparison with CDs with over 165 million copies, but it is growing.

I know some people who collect LPs. Maybe it is the novelty or maybe it is the nostalgic appeal, or as they would say it also has a different sound quality that they liked. Or maybe sometimes, we just yearn to return to something old or familiar.

(www.twitter.com/wilsonng)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2014.

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