All work and no play

With a huge increase of information due to changes and advances in technology, people are now working harder and longer than ever before.

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 12.50.06 pm

But not in the physical sense. Most people find it hard to switch off from their devices, making people available 24 hours a day.

My Mum for example is a teacher. But her working hours aren’t just when the kids are in the classroom. Her job means she has to be available at all times incase there is an emergency that needs her assistance. It is expected of her to be able to answer her phone or an email straight away.

My Mum after a kid has gone and super glued them self to a chair
My Mum after a kid has gone and super glued them self to a chair

This applies to myself to a certain extend as well. The flow of liquid information means that people are now today more readily available than ever before. Sending a message today means it arrives the same minute. In comparison to 100 years ago where it could have taken months. By having access to all of my forms of communication all day, every day means that I’m either communicating or having the option to. For a lot of people there is no break from the ‘have it all lifestyle’ that we self impose. 

The end of the world would not occur of we chose to switch off for a day. Thoughts may take longer to be sent and received, but the feedback loop would still occur. 

All of this information equals power. Companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon have their products produced by their users from their data. This meta data is power. Knowledge is power in this sense. 

All of this ‘power’ creates a want for more knowledge. It is easy to get caught up in the whirl wind that the internet can become, but that is not always a bad thing.

The internet has allowed many things to occur for humanity that wouldn’t of without it. Remembering how much time you spend as a node there will over all effect your life. After all you have the power to turn the switch off.  

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 12.50.33 pm


9 thoughts on “All work and no play

  1. I can totally relate to what you say about your Mum having to be available in this new era of liquid labour. My Dad is a prison guard and he’s constantly on call incase of emergency and his work hours change regarding what’s happening in jail, for example his hours increased with the recent tobacco ban in prisons, impacting our family life greatly. Its at this point where we wonder what does the future hold, if the lines between work and personal life are being so blurred. Is this instantaneous and ongoing communication an issue, or is it making us more productive? If it is the latter, then what are the consequences of that? Your blog explained this topic well, I thought it was educative and I liked the way you related it to a family member but also to yourself.

  2. The argument of switching your phone off and living in the moment is something that is always debated and I found this blog post good as it looked at both sides of the debate. Having instantaneous and ubiquitous connectivity with people all around the world is a good thing yet has its downsides and your post explores the effects on labour really well. I really enjoy the GIF too. Good job!

  3. It’s really interesting to see how connected we all are, without really realising it. I didn’t really realise that teachers had to be connected all the time like you’ve said – something that is a perfect example of liquid labor. As you mentioned about yourself, I also feel like I am “constantly connected”, especially as a Media and Communications student. Basically all of my university work involves being online or on a computer, but then so does my social life. Something that I spoke about in my blog posts is finding the difference between work and social life, something that can be hard to do when both aspects of your life are usually online. Great use of memes also, well done!

  4. Hi Gabbi,

    I really like the way you have used personal examples to explore how new technologies are driving people to work harder and longer. I think it is ironic that people once believed technology would lead to more leisure time and fewer hours at work. Instead, new technologies have created a 24/7 world where work never seems to stop and professionals are always in a state of high alert, glued to their screens.

    I also like how you remind readers that we all have the power to switch off. I really enjoy reading blog posts about people who decide to go without social media for a month (check out this one: It is refreshing to see that people feel so liberated after disconnecting.

    I think it is important that we strive for a more “conscious consumption” of information. There are even books now dedicated to helping people control and regulate their information flows (you may like to check out the book called ‘The Information Diet’ by Clay Johnson - ). In this way, while we may not need to switch off entirely, it is important to be mindful of our daily Internet habits and to reflect on how these may be impacting our everyday life.

    Great blog post, Gabbi! Also, just to let you know, the last few sentences in this post have been repeated so you may like to fix that up 🙂

  5. I never thought about this topic from a teacher’s perspective, because they certainly have to do a lot more prep at home than most other jobs. I guess this is what getting paid by the hour or having a salary really accounts for (all the work outside of hours) but it’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle and you can’t really put a price on that.
    Only one thing to change, I noticed you’ve repeated your last paragraph after the picture, and the last sentence does not really make sense: “to turn of on switch off”. I love all your gifs/pictures, they’re entertaining and they support your writing.

  6. This is a pretty cool little post on the influence of the internet on the flow of liquid information in a digitalised world! I found it pretty cool how you were able to link the influence of emerging technology on your mom’s job as a teacher to the phenomenon of liquid labour – it presents a real-life example of how in this rapidly shifting world, as information flows continue to shift and liquid labour starts to become more a more pragmatic form of employment, the borders between work and family/leisure/off time begins to overlap.

    I agree with the other comment that it questions whether this shift will allow for a more productive sorting of information not seen before, which transcends issues of time and space – or will the repercussions be too much?

    Good work definitely looking forward to reading more of your blog posts!

  7. Your post is fantastically written and flowed so well. Its simplicity and conciseness made it very readable and understandable. The relation to your own and your mothers experience with the excessive liquid flow of information is a great way to show that not only you understand it, but to give us a reason to reflect on our own behaviours. For me, when watching the lecture this week, I was under the impression that ‘Liquid Labour’ was really only referring to jobs and workplaces that have eventuated to online realms.
    Your post reiterated to me that our social networks have moved into being this liquid form, online where we often do not depart for days and maybe even weeks at a time. Although we are not directly online, speaking to people, we leave the application available with just a touch. It is almost too accessible.

    Great post 🙂

  8. It is quite funny that you mention the fact that people are net reachable and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s crazy how we have gone from a world of the telegraph and receiving telegrams that could days or even weeks to reach us, to now being in contact with someone within a matter of a few seconds. We have instant feedback and endless amounts of communication methods that transcend well beyond verbal communication. This post definitely inherently discusses global networks and the network society paradigm, a concept difficult to grasp although illustrated through your post. Very insightful!

  9. It leaves me curious as how much time I spend as a node, feeding the networks like Google, Facebook, Ebay, Amazon, Etc, and how much it impacts on me and my role in the scheme of things. It’s true what you say, we do have the power to walk away, to turn off and close the door. The problem is, it isn’t like closing the door to an office, there is no door, there is no barrier. Is that why we can’t bring ourselves to turn off that WiFi button? Without the reality of closing a real door and shutting it off from ourselves, we leave a part of our selves as the node while the rest of us carries on. I liked your use of images to support and strengthen your post with a little comedic relief, and I feel you could delve a little deeper into the sentence you discussed that it isn’t the end of the world if we switched off for a day. What would be the consequences for those user fed networks if we suddenly no longer had need of them? Otherwise, great little post!

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