Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Out of Office

I came across this today - some of these are real belters:

The out of office stuff amused me, and the phrase "mouse arrest" tickled my fancy.

But there are serious aspects as well.

In Sunday's Observer there was an article about the level of stress caused by e-mail. Apparently senior managers (not this one!) spend 4 hours per day managing e-mails.

We are in danger of becoming victims of our technological success. I remember Fred Macaulay on Radio Scotland saying that if e-mail and the telephone had been invented in reverse order, we would be raving about how great the phone was because yoiu can actually speak to people. Anyway, this sort of stuff has been written about loads of times before, so I'm not going to bang on about it.

I was intrigued by some of the stuff in the BBC article, about loss of inhibition and self-disclosure in e-mails, blogs etc. We seem to be wary (maybe it's a Scottish thing) about revealing our feelings and emotions - yet we are liberated by our keyboards.

I came across an Albert Schweitzer quotation:

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."
Maybe in our electronically connected, but socially isolated, world the inner fire can be rekindled by a virtual friend - or at least by electronic communication. Of course, it's a poor second best, but ... better than nothing.

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