How the iPhone killed the three-day weekend

“Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer and all it evokes: vacations, slower workweeks, casual dress codes, getting the pool ready and pulling out the outdoor furniture,” Bob Sullivan writes for NBC News. “It would seem an ideal time to take a break, but our ability to unplug and relax is under assault. A three-day weekend? We can barely get through three waking hours without working, new research shows. The average smartphone user checks his or her device 150 times per day, or about once every six minutes. Meanwhile, government data from 2011 says 35 percent of us work on weekends, and those who do average five hours of labor, often without compensation — or even a thank you. The other 65 percent were probably too busy to answer surveyors’ questions.”

Sullivan writes, “‘It’s like an arms race … everything is an emergency,’ said Tanya Schevitz, spokeswoman for Reboot, an organization trying help people unplug more often. ‘We have created an expectation in society that people will respond immediately to everything with no delay. It’s unhealthy, and it’s unproductive, and we can’t keep going on like this.’ There’s a long list of horribles associated with our new, always-on-digital lives: You are dumber. You are more stressed. You are losing sleep, and more depressed.”

“It’s easy to blame the economy… It’s equally easy to blame gadgets, particularly smartphones, which have virtually tethered employees to their desks.Some experts think these wounds are self-inflicted. Laura Vanderkam, who recently published the eBook, ‘What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekends,’ says that many executives she’s worked with have learned they can unplug for a weekend without dire consequences,” Sullivan writes. “‘Many of us have an exaggerated sense of our own importance,’ she said, speaking on the eve Memorial Day weekend. ‘I can tell you that come Tuesday morning, the Earth will still be revolving, whether you have checked your email or not.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Today is Memorial Day in the U.S. and we will be spending the day with friends and family. We will resume posting tomorrow morning as usual. As always, thank you for visiting!


        1. Correctomundo! The terms “iPhone” and “Apple” do *not* appear in the article.

          “‘Many of us have an exaggerated sense of our own importance,’ [Sullivan] said…” She must have been reading some MDN commenters’ posts.

  1. I totally agree with this article. I find people’s expectations for getting responses and answers immediately to be absurd and annoying. I’m sick of text messages, Emails and phone calls because they’re like tasks, some of which require a massive amount of thought.

    I turn my phone off for many hours of the day and focus on doing my work. I make my employees turn off Whatsapp (fucking distracting App).

    I get back to people when I can, but I don’t respond until I can and until I’ve thought about a good response. What I’m finding is that, the emergency you thought would ruin the world… after a couple of days of me not responding, it becomes irrelevant. I find that after a couple of days, many requests are just not relevant anymore and I don’t even bother responding.

    I also have more of a: “You figure it out” attitude. Don’t bug me with stupid shit you can figure out yourself. Because I’m going to ignore you.

  2. Totally agree and that is why I put my phone away most days. I also refuse to work on the weekend and my work phone goes in the drawer.

    Life is too important to spend all your time being a servant or working all the time.

    Turn it off and enjoy yourself for once!

  3. Gotta love that we’re all using our smartphones to complain about how much we use our smartphones. That’s irony overkill right there! lol

    Enjoy your day off fellas!

      1. He simply said “Enjoy your day off fellas.” It’s not even clear whether he himself lives in the US or has his day off.

        Your statement comes off overly bitchy, but I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way.

            1. I’m so sick of the word troll. People fling it around yet they themselves are the ones who are trolls. Fuck you and your stupid labels and subjective bullshit interpretations. Some people, like me, are brutally honest and if you don’t like what you see or hear, turn tail and run.

              I actually admit to overusing the word “Fanboy” on here but in this case the label is accurate in that it describes a person who worships Apple and is delusional in their following to whatever the company says or does. That this person will defy logic and reason because they are ultimately subservient to a corporation.

              Troll is a term used to describe someone who intentionally wants to argue with people by often putting up strawmen arguments and misrepresenting the facts.

              All I do is point out facts and am honest. My motivation is good: to stop people from being delusional and to wake them up to a reality that is more clear and rational.

            2. Shock Me:

              A delusional homo troll who hangs out on the Internet all day and has no job. A person with no skills and nothing to contribute to society.

              A loser. A double blank. A needle starting at zero going backwards. A coward. An idiot. A life not worth living.

            3. Gee, I don’t know. I wouldn’t have guessed you were gay. You really shouldn’t be so down on yourself. According to YouTube your life will get better.

              If not I’m sure there is always a pill you can take.

            4. Shock Me:

              Just keep trying to call me out. It is you that’s a troll. An Internet shill with nothing to offer anyone. A louie as in loser. Always will be one. Never anything else.

              A filthy scumbag who spreads his idiocy across the Web. Grab a job loser or at least an identity. Oh actually because people can’t stand you, you’ll need to find something you can do.

              Let me suggest a lighthouse operator in far up north.

              Shut up

            5. Who’s calling you out? No one cares who you blow.

              Now I love the lighthouse idea though. Something up on Whitefish Bay. Shame they are mostly automated now.

              Watching the Taconite boats go by would be very relaxing.

      2. It’s the day that we Americans set aside to honor our military for all that they have done to secure our freedom.

        And, by the way, the freedom of others.

        I don’t know where you live, but chances are that, in fairness, a tip of your hat toward the American soldier in at least partial thanks for the freedoms that you enjoy would not be inappropriate.

        1. So American. Can’t think before 1940.

          Perhaps we should thank the French for the standardisation of Europe. Or for helping liberate American from the British.

          Or the British for keeping peace during the 1900s and defeating Napoleon.

          1. Would love to thank the French if the hadn’t killed all the guys that helped us back then. Not that some of them didn’t deserve it. Besides I kinda like my French men rude and arrogant. It means at least that job got done right.

            The only way to thank the British is getting them into as many scrapes as they got us into.

            My sincere goal is for the rest of the world to see us as fat and useless so we never have to clean up another mess again. (Or make one.)

          2. Perhaps we should thank the Iraqis for starting up civilisation, back when they still called themselves Sumerians. Those cuneiform tablets turned out to have a great MTBF!

    1. I find it ironic you posted this article on Memorial Day morning. I thought you weren’t working today? LOL! I get it. Thank for all your hard work and see you tomorrow.

  4. Email and the cellphone period. But if you really need a villain… then Blackberry fits the bill. When I got my first work Blackberry, that’s when I really felt like it encroached on “my time.”

  5. Can’t we just presumptively blame Obama for this, too? Before that Kenyan socialist came to power, Americans didn’t honor holidays by being lazy!

    Saves us the trouble of enduring more right wing drivel.

  6. It’s a day off here in the UK too, a Bank Holiday. And it’s the second this year that’s been sunny right through the week-end, at least in the South-west, something close to a miracle over here.

  7. The author doesn’t have a firm grasp on “cause and effect.”

    Checking your phone ten times per hour actually is in no way proof that you are a “slave” to your smartphone. You might be. But it’s not proof that you are. You could also be enjoying whatever you are getting updated on. Even if it’s something you’re not enjoying being alerted to, you’re not a slave to your smartphone: you’re a slave to the feeling of needing to be in touch with those not around you. Fix that, not some supposed smartphone addiction.

  8. Well, I’m retired military, now working for the County. But I’m using my day off to get a smog check and tune-up that found a serious burnt-out cap and rotor that could have had breakdown. The problem is finding places that are open. Peters management book complained that a problem with American business is that they are not open when the customer is around. I had a cheap Autozone part from China. We can only beat them by staying connected.

  9. I don’t consider myself a slave to the smartphone. It’s a pretty cool toy, and can even be a power tool. I actually had a fine day today even though I did t use my iPhone that much. You CAN appreciate life without tech!

  10. ““It would seem an ideal time to take a break, but our ability to unplug and relax is under assault.”

    Hardly. I spent the entire three-day weekend device free. If a person has that difficult a time leaving an iPhone, iPod, iPad, or whatever behind for a few days, they have serious issues that need professional attention.

  11. And just who holds a gun to your head and forces you to answer the phone? When I want to escape the old hurly burly you would sooner be able to buy a round-trip discount tourist ticket to hell than get me to answer the damn phone.

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