There is a Monster in Your Computer

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OK, guys. I know you work in IT, and IT is all about computers, but this week’s Web poll results are disturbing. Nearly 15 percent of respondents report they spend 20 or more hours in front of a computer each day. That’s insane. We need to have a little chat about life/work management.


Now, I harangued you very gently a few weeks ago about being in the now. Before that, I pointed out a few benefits of looking away from the screen occasionally and eating healthier when trapped in the office on late-night deadlines. But after viewing the aforementioned poll results I am hereby strongly suggesting, no, I’m ordering you to get up, step away from the computer and stay away for as long as you can without inciting a riot at work or inside your own head. And this notion of a riot inside your head seems entirely possible since stepping away after spending 20-plus hours in front of a computer for a protracted length of time may induce withdrawal symptoms. I can’t think of any reason that would necessitate this much time in front of a monitor or any other piece of equipment with the notable exception of saving an organization on the brink of disaster following an emergency or other unscheduled company-wide system crashing, entire body of knowledge exploding or disintegrating type episode. Writers and editors can on occasion subscribe to the loner club too, but I know for a fact that nearly five days out of five my coworkers and I step away from our computers for lunch. And when we have to stay late, which we do, we do not stay late consistently, day after day, metaphorically chained to our desks.


If your boss or company doesn’t prescribe to this logic, I’m sorry. I don’t have a miracle cure, but you can check out Certification Magazine or for a ton of tips to help you find a new job and tell you which industries are hot and perhaps more balanced with regards to life outside of work. It starts with you though. The Web poll question asked how long you spend in front of a computer for work or personal use. If the combination of those two consistently exceeds 10 hours a day, you quite simply need to get out more, and exploring the world via the Internet doesn’t count.

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