It’s dinnertime, and you know it’s just wrong to be checking your email. Your spouse and kids are giving you the stink-eye. But it’ll just take a minute. One minute. Seriously. There’s just this super-quick thing from the boss that you’ve gotta deal with.
American workers, especially white-collar workers, are becoming an army of smartphone addicts, and we beat ourselves up even as we indulge in the rudest of modern habits. But we’re not entirely to blame for our weakness, as Clive Thompson reports in the latest issue of Mother Jones. Much of the encroachment of technology into our lives is driven by work, and workplace demands are escalating as a direct result of the so-called convenience that Steve Jobs has placed in our pockets. As Thompson notes in his must-read essay, “You could view off-hours email as one of the growing labor issues of our time.” So here are a few stats that outline the issue, and one that suggests how smart companies might help address it.