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How the Smartphone Killed the Three-day Weekend

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the now-suspected-in-radio-star-slaying-as-well dept.

Cellphones 232

An anonymous reader writes "As we in the U.S. settle in for Memorial Day weekend, this article points out how our cultural addiction to technology is making it less of a vacation than it used to be. '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.' Even for those of us who don't have any work to do over the weekend, we'll probably end up reading all of our work-related emails as they roll in, and take time out of our day to think about what's going on — to the detriment of our weekend activities: 'A study at the University of California, San Francisco, found that new experiences fail to become long-term memories unless brains have downtime for review.' I imagine it's even worse for your average Slashdotter, who's likely plugged in to more technology at home and at work. How can we make our employers understand that downtime needs to remain downtime? 'It took labor unions 100 years to fight for nights and weekends off, some say, while smartphones took them away in about three years.'"

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232 comments

You forgot to mention... (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43822403)

...posting to Slashdot.

I think I'll go investigate this "outside" that I keep hearing about.

Re:You forgot to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822445)

No! It's a lie! It's a trap! People go out and don't return. Once people go outside, they sucked in and spend all their time outside. It's more addictive than Minecraft.

Re:You forgot to mention... (3, Insightful)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about a year ago | (#43822539)

Bullshit. Flies don't land in my food, there are no wasps, and even when it's snowing it's still a comfortable temperature. Outside has all the bad.

Re:You forgot to mention... (5, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about a year ago | (#43823121)

Indeed. I am just thankful I live where there are liquor stores with drive up windows...

Re:You forgot to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822501)

Don't! It's a trap to lure /.ers outside! There are people everywhere! People! One of them even tried talking to me! Barely made it back into my basement alive.

Re:You forgot to mention... (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#43822515)

I've BEEN enjoying the outside.

I dunno what the deal is with people and this crap.

You do it to yourself.

Yes, I have a cell phone, but when I'm off work and not scheduled to work again for awhile, I do NOT answer any calls that I do not recognize for one thing. And those I do recognize, if it is anything but personal related, it goes straight to voice mail. I will check that at my leisure.

I don't do work on MY time. The only reason I do work in the first place, is to earn enough money to live the lifestyle I want, and I do that on my free time. It wouldn't make sense to work all days....or I'd not be able to enjoy my 'toys' and other things money enables me to get.

If you answer the phone for work or are a slave to work...then it is YOUR fault.

You *do* know that most modern phones have voicemail don't you? USE IT.

Re:You forgot to mention... (1)

xaxa (988988) | about a year ago | (#43822627)

I went on holiday for three weeks in March. While on the train to the airport, I set the work email account "check frequency" to "never".

My manager has my personal email address (I have hers). She has used it once: on the final day of a holiday last year she emailed to tell me that the office was shut to non-essential staff due to a problem with the water supply. That's the way it should be! She also has my mobile phone number, but she's never called it.

I'm on holiday again this week. I don't have a sensibly priced data service, which usually makes me realise how often I pull my phone out of my pocket in otherwise empty moments. Too much!

Re:You forgot to mention... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#43823175)

I went on holiday for three weeks in March. While on the train to the airport, I set the work email account "check frequency" to "never".

The most recent Gmail update for iOS added the ability to log out of individual email accounts rather than all of them at once. Since my personal email is on Gmail, and my workplace is using Google Apps, this is an important ability to have.

However this weekend I'm on call, so it's rather moot at the moment.

Re:You forgot to mention... (1)

Creepy (93888) | about a year ago | (#43822721)

I don't think it's calls they are talking about - I know people checking for and responding to texts every 3-4 minutes all day long. I send 1-2 texts a month and am lucky if I even check my phone 3x a day, so I'm drastically below average.

Re:You forgot to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822729)

I don't do work on MY time.

You do if your boss expects you to. Part of the side effect of everyone being so available.

Ah well, no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822845)

Businesses compete against one another. One advantage that can help bring victory is keeping labor costs low while keeping productivity high. Having staff that works weekends without extra pay gives that competitive advantage.

Every employer in the world has direct incentives to encourage this. And employees have incentives to participate in it...as being an employee of a successful business can bring more job security, specialization opportunities, and bonuses.

Furthermore, since successful businesses tend to displace the unsuccessful ones over time, economic natural selection produces an environment where most employees do weekend work most of the time.

If you want the weekend hours to stop, make them outright illegal. Illegal to even allow employees to do it if they want to. And use taxpayer money to fund a government auditing division to enforce this law.

Of course, such extreme measures will never happen, so get used to the weekend work. It is just how humans do things.

Re:You forgot to mention... (5, Insightful)

Mozai (3547) | about a year ago | (#43823143)

> If you answer the phone for work or are a slave to work...then it is YOUR fault.

Sorta. I've had managers with these habits, and they expect me to keep up with them. When I don't, I'm "not a team player" and "the reason why this project failed" and "up for another performance review."

Not answering the phone one weekend was the reason given as to why I was the only person on my team who did not get a cost-of-living pay raise. It was unreasonable, and petty, and it was the stated reason.

So, when you say "YOU do this to YOURSELF," I gotta respond "sure, but the alternative is for someone else to punish me for not doing it."

Re:You forgot to mention... (4, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43823321)

Find a new job. Or move somewhere that legally protects people from bullying pencil necks.

Re:You forgot to mention... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43823329)

Maybe you should just kill your boss. Need to start putting the fear of death in retards before they fuck up the world any more than they already have.

Re:You forgot to mention... (5, Interesting)

socialleech (1696888) | about a year ago | (#43823341)

Then you either need to find another job, or lay down the law with your employer.. and preferably with an HR rep present when you do.

I was 'on call' for almost 2 years with one company I worked for, and almost got fired because I slept in on a Saturday and didn't answer my phone for about 3 hours. After that, I called a meeting with my manager and HR exec. I told them if I was to be considered 'on call' at all hours of the day, 24/7/365.. then they needed to pay me for the hours I was expected to answer the phone.

I then laid out the math, considering 1/4th of my salary for 'on call' status outside of normal work, they would have to raise my salary to 75% greater than my current pay. I was told they would hire another person, and divide the 'on call' status across the group to make it 'fair'. After that, I received almost no calls outside of work(except on my 'on call' weekend). They figured spanning the 'on call' status to everyone on the team, was cheaper than any one of us getting that extra 75%.. and that's just at 1/4th of MY pay, and I was a mid-level dev at the time.

I got my free time back, and they were happy that I brought the fact that I was upset with the matter to them, rather than just leaving because I was mad at the situation.

On a side note: I used to work for a very well known in-house tech service.. on my week, once every 6 months, I was paid 1/4 time 8hrs a day for them to be able to call me at any hour, and have me answer. Even when I worked that day.

Re: You forgot to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43823389)

>"the reason why this project failed"

Tell me more of this "failure" concept

Re:You forgot to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43823165)

Amen, brother!

I took Friday off (to race my car at the track! :-) and I will be taking all 3 days this weekend, including most of Sunday to watch the Indy 500. Note I also work in the fast paced high tech world, but we know how to budget our time and get shit done.

I used my smart phone all day long yesterday and will all weekend too. I just won't switch my BB back to work mode until Monday morning.

Easy peasy.

Re:You forgot to mention... (1)

Rary (566291) | about a year ago | (#43823351)

Exactly. It's not the tools, it's the tools who use them. The Exchange client on my smartphone allows me to specify my work hours, and I have it set up to NOT deliver any new emails outside of those hours. Lots of phones do this, but it's up to the user to use it.

Re:You forgot to mention... (5, Funny)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year ago | (#43822777)

What impresses me the most about "outside" after a mass gaming session is its frames per second and resolution.

Re:You forgot to mention... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43823123)

LoL.

But I'm sure there's some kind of fakery involved.

Re:You forgot to mention... (4, Funny)

Calydor (739835) | about a year ago | (#43823311)

It's just a pre-rendered cutscene.

TL:DR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822413)

Technology allowed the stressed to be more stressed.

Re:TL:DR (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#43822639)

Indeed. The problem is that these people cannot relax in the first place. Now they are working themselves into the ground. But I predict that the problem will be solved in a few years, by a flood of burn-outs. Most companies need to have a longer-term focus with regard to employees or they will fail.

Re: TL:DR (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822679)

why? Company will hire a new meat. There are 7 billion people out there , it is a resource cheap and abundant.

Re: TL:DR (3, Informative)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#43822923)

Not all of those 7 billion can do certain jobs.

Re: TL:DR (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#43823145)

Or rather if the job requires any kind of specific experience, most people cannot do most jobs. Experience cannot be replaced be replaced by anything else.

Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822423)

Guilty as charged. Sigh.

I never forget anything... (3, Funny)

Freddybear (1805256) | about a year ago | (#43822439)

...as far as I can remember. :p

6 minutes is too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822443)

Every 6 minutes? That's insane. I'll occasionally check my phone for messages, but I'd be surprised if I checked more than 20 times a day. Every 6 minutes seems a bit too much. How could you operate or focus on any particular task.

Crap. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822447)

What took away the three day weekends is having unreasonable deadlines... and wanting to keep a job.

Has nothing to do with a smartphone.

Re:Crap. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822577)

What took away the three day weekends is having unreasonable deadlines... and wanting to keep a job.

Has nothing to do with a smartphone.

Exactly. And the arrogance portrayed here in the "I'll answer it when I feel like it" is hardly realistic, especially when you consider who pays for that corporate cell phone. if they wanted to only reach you 8 - 5 Monday - Friday, you wouldn't have a reason to have a cell phone at all.

Re:Crap. (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#43823195)

Some of us don't have corporate-issued phones but are still expected to be reachable if it's urgent (which is, of course, defined by the powers that be).

Some of us would also probably choose to use our personal phones anyway if the corporate phone wasn't of our preferred brand/OS.

Re:Crap. (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43823333)

As long as they're willing to pay for triple overtime for after hours calls, they can call anytime they like. Up till 9pm, after that I expect a partnership.

If you're going to eat shit, don't be surprised when people feed it to you.

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822449)

I tell all of my employees that if they aren't on call, ignore work email. If I need you that desperately, I'll call. I've also made it clear to my boss that I will treat work communications the same way on my time off. Amazingly, we still manage to get the job done.

Re:Easy (1)

brainboyz (114458) | about a year ago | (#43822467)

This is how I handle it. If I'm not on the clock, they don't get a response. Hell, a lot of the time my weekends are spent 10 to 20 miles from the nearest cell coverage.

Turn the sucker off! (2)

AbrasiveCat (999190) | about a year ago | (#43822471)

Hey, they can be turned off. I recommend it. I remember moving from college with a networked mainframe (any one remember Wylbur?) to a research site which had a PDP 11/34 in one of the building that I didn't have access to and some Wang computers. I went through withdrawal for months. We did get pc computers networks etc, but I still can walk away at the end the day. Sure I may turn the computer on at home and check slashdot, pay some bills, or I may give it a couple days to check that email. Stay in control!

Move to Canada (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822473)

I work in technology in Canada, and extremely few people check their work email on (long) weekends. It's simply not expected. Some people do, sure, but for those who don't, no one ever judges or cares. It's just a cultural thing.

I pity people who live in a reality where you are expected to work when you're not working in order to keep your job or move up.

Sad.

Re:Move to Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822503)

Also worth noting, is that "bring your own device" is not generally done here. Companies provide work phones, and few people access work email from a personal phone. That probably also makes a big difference. On weekends, the work phone gets turned off.

canada - a communist hell hole (0, Offtopic)

decora (1710862) | about a year ago | (#43822621)

i hear tell that in canada, they lock you up if you call someone a bad name. no thank you sir.

i prefer to own a gun, scream racial slurs on my front lawn, and pay my taxes to brave young soldiers, instead of emo kids touring with their awful screamo bands.

Re:canada - a communist hell hole (0)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | about a year ago | (#43823085)

I can attest to that, having escaped Canada for the U.S.

I is also illegal to spend your own money to save your own life: everyone has to be on the same government health plan, "to be fair". Cuba and North Korea are the same.

No way to change (4, Interesting)

Subgenius (95662) | about a year ago | (#43822483)

(this is NOT a troll)

As a person (senior management) who has been told by his CEO "I don't care about what happens to the employees, I care about my company making money," I don't see there is anything you can do to get 'companies' to recognize the value of vacations... other than quitting and making them scramble to find someone else they can screw over. Sadly, the perception of vacations, much like IT and paid training in general, is that it is a drain on the company (doesn't produce IMMEDIATE revenue but DOES result in IMMEDIATE costs), and if it was possible to run the company without it, most companies would do so in a heart beat. Of course, those companies are often hell-holes to work in and fail on a regular basis.

Re:No way to change (5, Insightful)

rmstar (114746) | about a year ago | (#43822567)

I don't see there is anything you can do to get 'companies' to recognize the value of vacations...

That's what unions are for.

other than quitting and making them scramble to find someone else they can screw over.

If you do it alone, nobody will notice. You have to unionize. Read some history.

Sadly, the perception of vacations, much like IT and paid training in general, is that it is a drain on the company (doesn't produce IMMEDIATE revenue but DOES result in IMMEDIATE costs), and if it was possible to run the company without it, most companies would do so in a heart beat. Of course, those companies are often hell-holes to work in and fail on a regular basis.

...and that's why regulation is necessary. If you pass solid laws ensuring paid vacations and freedom from weekend work, companies will stop competing by squeezing the employee. Instead, they will compete on something else. Without unions, such laws will never happen, and everybody will continue to be screwed.

Re:No way to change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822605)

Instead, they will compete on something else.

Like just reducing the salary of employees by roughly the same proportion that adding paid vacations increases it and no weekend work reduces their total work hours.

unions? thats tantamount to killing all the jews (3, Funny)

decora (1710862) | about a year ago | (#43822631)

dont you know? unions are only on this earth to promote the obama socialist muslim communist agenda to abort our children and fill our cheese with unhealthy dragon feces.

Re:unions? thats tantamount to killing all the jew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43823459)

I demand cheese made with the feces of only healthy dragons!

Unions (0)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year ago | (#43823081)

Yeah unions are great. That steel industry sure is kicking ass and the cost/quality of American cars can't be beat!

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43823307)

Because there are no other factors which could possibly effect the steel industry besides unions.....

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43823387)

Yes! You should ban unions just like in China. Then you 'mercans can work 200 hrs/week, and make your cheap iPods yourself!

Re:No way to change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822569)

Your CEO is a classic Dilbert style idiot. That attitude is anti-fact and wrong. Happy, unstressed employees make productive employees.

Well - there is one exception, and that is where the underling job description is so mundane and requires only monkey skills without training and anyone can do it. Yes, in this case, it might make sense to screw the workers, but for any skilled job, people need time to cool their minds down.

Re:No way to change (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#43822615)

These people (including your CEO) are fundamentally incompetent. Vacations were not established to do the workers any good. They were established because people with adequate vacations make less mistakes, get sick less often, have better ideas and higher productivity, etc. and that pays off financially. Henry Ford, among others, realized this, and he was definitely not pro-worker in any sense. But he valued his own profits and sought to maximize them. Reasonable working hours and vacations are part of that maximization process. Your CEO is costing your company a lot of money. Any senior manager that does not know this is incompetent and should be removed as the amateur he is.

Re:No way to change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822861)

Unenlightened management motto:
"The floggings will continue until morale improves!"

YMMV

QUICK! Pile Blame on the NEW thing! (2)

jnutley (2932355) | about a year ago | (#43822511)

Why do we keep posting this FUD? People have fretted about their jobs on weekends forever. Checking your e-mail is a smaller opportunity cost than walking past your artisan shop or out to your fields after church but plenty of people did it even then. Don't blame your smartphone, blame your own unwillingness to focus your attention elsewhere.

Not me (3, Interesting)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about a year ago | (#43822513)

We have an on call rotation at work, and I am plugged into my work smartphone when on call. That's it. When I'm not on call, the smartphone stays at home (and gets ignored while I'm at home).

There are those who get forced into spending weekend time on work, and I do have a lot of sympathy for those people (though I would encourage them to find a job with an employer who isn't abusing them). But a lot of people who spend weekend time on work don't do so because they'll get fired or anything... they just do it out of a misguided sense of loyalty to their employer and dedication to their job. Those people are fools, unless their employer is repaying them for that devotion (which almost none do).

Re:Not me (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#43822647)

Same here, though I don't even check the phone when I'm on call, just wait for a text message if something goes wrong.

I'll check work email at weekends after we've just rolled out a major software upgrade or something else that could break things in a big way, but otherwise weekends are time away from work. And that's only because if I screw up and don't fix it, I could be seeing news stories about the consequences by Monday.

Re:Not me (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | about a year ago | (#43822685)

Yeah, I don't check either. I have some email alerts set up, and my phone only plays a notification if one of those comes in (or if someone calls, obviously).

And like I said, I'm sympathetic to people who get forced into that stuff by management. But there are so many people that voluntarily give up their work life balance, and then complain about how much time they spend working. Well, you're the one who chose to work 7 days a week...

Re:Not me (3, Interesting)

The Living Fractal (162153) | about a year ago | (#43823417)

Missed a big portion of America: people who check their phones, even though they aren't on the clock, because they LIKE what they do and want to stay in the loop.

Depends on your priority and speed (2)

cpct0 (558171) | about a year ago | (#43822521)

I nearly never checked my work e-mails at home, even if I've been a lead in most companies. I started a successful company with other people. Even then, my evenings were my evenings, and my week-ends were my week-ends, not my company's. Some exceptions of course, but they remained exceptions.

I give my all when I am at work, and disconnect myself from work at home. Like every good geek, I check my personal e-mails, and I check my personal phone messages approximately 594,000,000 times per microsecond (slightly exaggerating, but let's just say that number would be higher if I didn't have to drive sometimes ;) ), and everyone @ work knows they can call me or phone me if they are stuck. However, I will not jeopardize my mental sanity or my family's sanity for work. Starting a company is enough hard work to feel the strain, starting early AM and ending late PM (if ever), I won't add up a chain up on my nose when I'm away.

Which doesn't mean it doesn't work for you, I mean, I have people whose job it is to be 24/7 (some IT and some managers). Then you have to adapt your rhythm so you are relaxed most of the time, so your brain can work during long marathons, instead of 8 hours sprints. Even then, they all know the meaning of disconnecting, and will resort going to a place where their phone doesn't work if needed, but they will relax.

And if you feel like you work too hard, then don't :) There are other jobs elsewhere that doesn't require constant connection. Just change. It's your life. You do what you want.

i work in a bangladeshi clothing factory (1)

decora (1710862) | about a year ago | (#43822959)

and whenever im away on the weekend, i check my cellphone to see if my friends are dead.

Re:Depends on your priority and speed (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43823091)

I check my personal e-mails, and I check my personal phone messages approximately 594,000,000 times per microsecond

You mean, you don't have push notifications?

Durr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822527)

Ignore them when they call, SMS or email. Or better yet, turn their cell phones off altogether when you are not getting paid.

Just leave it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822537)

When I was given a smart phone at work I made it clear that when I went home, unless I was going to be on call, the phone stayed turned off. In fact, often the phone stayed at my desk at work. There are times when office life gets busy and stressful and people need to put in more hours, that's fine. But during the normal routine, works stays at the office and my time is my time. There need to be clear boundaries, otherwise people burn out.

The problem is the users (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#43822563)

It is quite enough to check it once per day. Or not at all on the weekend. That users have panic of becoming "unreachable" is not really rational. Almost all things can wait a few hours, typically a few days. Switching the phone off is not treason to the world, it is just rational. Oh, and when answering work-stuff on the weekend (which I occasionally do), it of course goes onto my time-sheet and gets fully paid for. Otherwise I would not even bother looking at it.

tell the customers you are off (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43822579)

so if something goes down on the weekend you just leave it down until work time and screw the customers?
i'm sure they won't mind their paid services being down until lunch time on Monday

Re:tell the customers you are off (2)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#43822733)

We tell them, if they want someone to fix their problems at weekends, they can pay $50,000 a year to have them on call. Seems to work for us, and people line up to be on call for the extra few hundred dollars a week.

Re:tell the customers you are off (2)

Howitzer86 (964585) | about a year ago | (#43822775)

Naturally, it all depends on what you do for a living. That's why I find the calls for more regulation and unionization troubling. Some people need to be available, and hell, some want to be available. It all depends and there needs to be exceptions when talking about this stuff.

Re:tell the customers you are off (2)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year ago | (#43822883)

If my employer considers it important enough to have production problems addressed on the weekend, then they'll prepare for it. They'll hire enough people to have staff to cover things on weekends. They'll assign an on-call rotation. They'll provide the beeper or cel phone to contact the on-call people (since the device goes with the role it can be passed from one person to the next). And they'll provide compensation for working that time (either as part of salary negotiated at hire or as additional compensation for additional work beyond what was agreed upon at hire). If they don't consider it important enough... well, it's their business, it's not my place as their employee to dictate to them how they should run it.

Re:tell the customers you are off (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43823059)

i will take working on weekends and flex work time. like if i need to work from home because one of my kids is sick and i don't want to spend $70 on a baby sitter. or i work from home one day a week so i can pick up a kid from public school and not spend the money on after school

last few years i worked from home 30-40 days out of the year because of sick kids. and wasn't charged one day vacation since i was actually working

Re:tell the customers you are off (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year ago | (#43823167)

so if something goes down on the weekend you just leave it down until work time and screw the customers? i'm sure they won't mind their paid services being down until lunch time on Monday

If something goes down at any time, the employees working at the time fix it. If a company is offering 24-hour service without employing people 24-hours to provide it, they should be convicted of fraud. Calling employees during their off-time to do some work in order to cover fraud should not be standard operating procedure.

Switch it off and have 2 phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822591)

Easy, I have 2 phones. One provided by work which I switch off in the weekends and after 18:00 on weekdays and one private phone.

VIP mailbox on iOS FTW (-1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43822599)

on iOS 6 you can set it up for all of your email or from selected senders to appear on the lock screen with a 5 line preview if you want

quick 2 second check of your lock screen is all that is needed. no need to unlock the phone and go into the email app for important email

Re:VIP mailbox on iOS FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822771)

So if a message is important enough to read, it's important enough that everyone should be able to read it?
What if your phone gets stolen, or you pull the thing out in front of others to look something up?

Re:VIP mailbox on iOS FTW (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43822869)

stolen iphone i call one of the other IT people and ask them to wipe it
or i find the nearest computer with a web browser and wipe it remotely

This is a cultural problem (5, Interesting)

deanklear (2529024) | about a year ago | (#43822719)

It took labor unions 100 years to fight for nights and weekends off, some say, while smartphones took them away in about three years

Unfortunately, in the context of the American mind this makes sense but in fact it's totally incorrect. Nights and weekends off has been lost over the last 30 years or so because corporations and governments worked together to reduce labor laws that protect workers and reward offshoring of labor as another avenue to damaging worker rights. Taking away our right to unionize did not make them enough money, so they had to exploit slave labor in Southeast Asia to have another implement to control workers: threatening not only individuals but entire communities with factory shutdowns.

And then they realized that with the militarization of our police forces they didn't have to threaten anything, so now they're just taking.They take our national wealth through tax loopholes, they drain our coffers with lucrative government contracts, and yet they continue to demand more and more money because there's no such thing as enough. Apple can't afford to pay full taxes, and they can't afford to pay Americans a living wage to build their products, but somehow they have over one hundred billion dollars in hard cash. They have so much money they haven't figured out how to spend it yet, and pretty much every corporation operates in a similar fashion.

Corporations continue to take and take and the only thing that will stop them is a popular labor movement, which may or may not be around the corner. Until Americans understand the root of the problem -- corporate power far outpacing democratic will -- corporations will continue to take our rights, our money, and the inheritance of a living planet away from our children. That's not because corporate people are evil, it's because absolute power corrupts absolutely, and despite all of their protestations to the contrary, they operate as any warlord or king or priest does when they are in centers of power. If they see something they want and they can get away with it, they will take it.

Smartphones don't have much to do with it.

Sometimes They Hate Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822799)

I make it more than clear to any employer that almost without exception I am unavailable on my time off. If they want me to be on stand by status then I expect a stand by wage by the hour. That may have cost me an opportunity or two or a raise or two but frankly i never gave a hoot. I would live in a ditch before I would sell out to the man.

This is biology (1)

bhlowe (1803290) | about a year ago | (#43822831)

Humans crave information. We take hits of data like the best junkies. First thing I do when I wake up is look at whats new in technology, stocks, world events, and local news. I also check facebook and play a few "with friends" type games.. Then I'll write code or work. Then I repeat throughout the day. This is by choice.. and it is voluntary. People do what makes them happy. And in most cases, that means being wired in to work and their favorite sources of data -- sports, news, politics, work, or social media. If given a chance, people would never trade their smart phones in for electronics-free "solitude". We're just not built that way.

my sister is addicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822851)

my sister will not put down her smartphone during suppertime. i turn my cell phone off at night. she leaves hers on at night and answers her phone in the middle of the night 7 days a week. most of the calls at night aren't related to work of family issues. i'm like, don't you get enough sleep at night? just saying.

The smartphone isn't killing the 3 day weekend... (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43822889)

declining wages and wealth inequality is. You're working that extra day to make up the pay you've lost over the last 30 years.

get a nice box to put your phone in (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | about a year ago | (#43822907)

a nice gilded wood box with a velvet lining works wonders in the whole "can't call you" thing.

If its a real emergency they will track you down.
list as follows

1 Job is ON FIRE
2 Boss is dead/out of action
3 somebody wants to say the words "You have Been Served" to you
4 somebody that did work the weekend dropped out/over
5 TLAs have shown up and they are making frowny faces

99% of the rest can wait until Tuesday

Life or death! (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about a year ago | (#43822993)

No, this call from work is top priority and vitally important. It's life or death!
Except I'm not an MD, I'm not doing heart transplants. I'm just a software engineer writing drivers for smartphones and tablets.

How to restore your three- and four-day weekends (1)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | about a year ago | (#43822909)

  1. Turn off your work phone
  2. Remove battery
  3. Put both in safe

It's your own fault.... (2)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#43822917)

... if you can't go through a long weekend without constantly checking your smart phone.

Either you are in a job that you choose that requires 7x24 support, or you choose to work on a project that has a tight deadline, or you put up with a bad corporate culture for fear of having to find a new job, or you haven't trained co-workers, or you haven't faced the fact that you are a work-a-holic, etc.

There are companies that value employees and recognize the benefits of personal time. Go find one.

PS: This comment does not apply to situations where real emergencies occur. Those are obviously exceptions.

Well maybe... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43822921)

If the damn fucktarded greedy socialist bastards living off our taxes were gone, we wound't have to work so hard to pay the damn taxes to support them. I see democrats and liberals taking all the three day weekends they want, and bragging how they "fool" the UI departments, laughing while those who support them work to pick up the slack they leave.

Never mind "useless eaters". It's the damn useless breathers and breeders I think we could do without.


If human activity is the cause of global warming, don't you think it's about time to "thin the herd", particularly those that can be replaced by machines?

How can this even be true? (2)

OrangeTide (124937) | about a year ago | (#43822979)

The average smartphone user checks his or her device 150 times per day, or about once every six minutes.

How in the world can someone check their smartphone that often? You'd have calluses from sliding the unlock icon surely.

I check my android phone if it buzzes from a message and I'm not already doing something else, or if a voice call comes in. But I'm definitely not getting voice calls every six minutes.

Re:How can this even be true? (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about a year ago | (#43823221)

They're not putting it down/turning the screen off between checks.

Check phone. Play angry birds. Check again before setting it down. Go get a drink. Check again. Browse facebook. Check again.

Re:How can this even be true? (2)

OrangeTide (124937) | about a year ago | (#43823283)

That's really ony one check. If I pick up my phone and check facebook, email, and texts then play a game, then go on wikipedia. That's 1 check, or maybe 4 or 5. But are we counting every second I'm holding my phone as checking my phone? Do we also count checking the time on my phone when I don't wear a watch? Should we compare checking a phone with checking a wrist watch, it might be interesting but I don't know what that would tell us about people.

Re:How can this even be true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43823499)

The average smartphone user checks his or her device 150 times per day, or about once every six minutes.

How in the world can someone check their smartphone that often? You'd have calluses from sliding the unlock icon surely.

Pfft, duh! That's why you turn off security so you don't need to do that! I can't think of any possible reason why you WOULDN'T do that!

And stop calling me Shirley!

get rid of salaries pay or have a high min level t (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43823073)

get rid of salaries pay or have a high min level to be on it with no OT pay say min of 80K-100K + cost of living bumps.

about about going some where with poor coverage (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43823083)

about about going some where with poor coverage and or a place to loud to hear the phone.

Just Say No (2)

laughingcoyote (762272) | about a year ago | (#43823117)

I've made it exceptionally clear that I am not available 24x7. If my boss would like me to be on call for some period, I'm willing to discuss that, but it needs to be arranged in advance for a clear time period.

If some communication is coming in for work right now, I don't even know about it and I'll handle it on Tuesday, given the 3-day weekend. Weekends are not "extra work days", they are my time to relax, unwind, and come back to the office ready to do a much better job than if I were constantly tired, fatigued, and burnt out. Ultimately, that benefits my employer, too.

You're still in control (1)

theRunicBard (2662581) | about a year ago | (#43823129)

At the end of the day, if you can't turn off your phone, it's your fault. If you have a job that's so miserable that you'd be better off not thinking about it, that's your fault too. If you can't finish your work fast enough to go home and enjoy time with your family / relax, totally your fault. People like to blame society for their own faults. Go to work, finish your work, go home, have fun, enjoy the weekend. It's pretty simple you guys.

Re:You're still in control (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about a year ago | (#43823233)

It's also partially the fault of other people that can't do those things. If Joe is getting x amount of work done because he's working when he's suppose to be off too, then they expect Bob to do the same amount of work.

Working for tips? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43823189)

What is this "without compensation?" You are doing a job and getting paid. Do you argue that "I don't get paid extra to not make mistakes or be on time?"

You may or may not want a high stress/value/paying job. There are tradeoffs.

Before smartphones there was voicemail. Before that ambitious people spent 60 hours a week at the office instead of 40 at office and 20 at home.

Re:Working for tips? (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about a year ago | (#43823251)

What is meant is that they are paid the same as someone that DOESN'T check their smartphone all day when off work. I.e. someone is working 40 hours and being paid the same as someone that is working 60 hours, in the office or at home.

3 day weekend (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year ago | (#43823241)

Not everybody works Monday to Friday
(or 9 to 5 for that matter)

I have a 3 night weekend (I work nights) every 2 weeks. (Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights)
But then I have to work the other weekend.

Statutory holidays don't make any difference, I work every Monday (and Wednesday)
I get alternate Tuesdays and Thursdays off. (Total 72 hrs every fortnight)

What about employers who make it work well? (1)

N1zaam (2598947) | about a year ago | (#43823245)

I am part of a large telco (13k+ employees). I work from home, have a Blackberry and check my email religiously. I am not penalized for turning the BB off for the weekend if need be however, putting out that fire on Sat means my Monday is free for drinks on the patio. I prefer to manage my own time and not have weekends forced upon me.

I am not required to work on a weekend and there is no expectation to do so. But taking care of something when I have free time almost always means I can make that time up later. I have been in this role several years now and I feel my employer has consistently supported a good work/life balance.

Granted, that is probably the exception. Not the rule.

So strange... (4, Insightful)

Genda (560240) | about a year ago | (#43823277)

Being a little older its interesting to see the arc of human behavior. Younger people don't question the way it is, it's just the way it is and they rationalize why it's that way and they thing it's normal, even good. There was a time when people actually mattered as people and not interchangeable widgets in a service based industrial engine that consumes people in precisely the same way it consumes paper or water or raw materials.

When people mattered, their human needs mattered. How the company was loyal to the employee just the way an employee was supposed to be loyal to a company. My Father worked for the same company for 30 years and got a generous retirement from them. Today the shrinking bone and the increasing number of ever hungrier dogs forces us to be happy to give away all our human time, with our families, with our interests and personal joys and passions, or we are forced to do work that leads to living a life that is hungry and wanting.

The problem isn't and can't be cell phones. It is a ceaselessly ravenous industry that wants all of you, and when it is done will spit you out sans vital juice. The future bodes that human labor is coming to an end. But the industries are the only recipient of the changing world. We must begin to look at how we will deal with a human population that no longer can compete in the market place with robot labor Or society itself will unravel.

Re:So strange... (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43823367)

There was a time when people actually mattered as people and not interchangeable widgets in a service based industrial engine that consumes people in precisely the same way it consumes paper or water or raw materials.

Would this have been when they had children working in coal mines, or when you couldn't get paid in anything but company scrip? The good old days really weren't, but that doesn't mean there aren't people working diligently to bring them back.

Antiannoyance App (2)

Roachie (2180772) | about a year ago | (#43823379)

My smartphone came with an app called "Power Off" that I find to be 100% effective in preventing work interruptions of my personal life. The only catch is that it seems to require a reboot to turn the app off. However this is a small price to pay.

Justice = my boss + razor encrusted dildo. (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about a year ago | (#43823381)

I have blocking software and use it. There are four people on this earth who can call me during vacation or holiday who can get past my shields. Not even POTUS can get my fucking phone to ring.

Yea right fire me you fucking marionette.

digital vacation one day a week (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#43823495)

No internet, email or smartphone. I'm usuualy outdoors doing something.
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