I think Matthew Yglesias nails the modern mix of work and play. He’s talking about a study that shows that email users check their work email on weekends, on sick days, and even when they’re on vacation. It’s a two-way street:
At the same time, looking at our traffic stats here at ThinkProgress it’s evident that an awful lot of people are reading blogs when they’re supposed to be at their desk working. Not that I mind, you understand, it’s just a noticeable trend. And traffic really falls off during that week between Christmas and New Years when relatively few people are working. That’s not because nobody can access the Internet when they’re not at their office, it’s because the flipside of using digital technology to work even when you’re not “at work” is using digital technology to slack off when you are at work. Certainly I do both of these things—it’s neither rare for me to be reading an ESPN article during working hours nor to be reading a work email after hours. That’s the nature of modern life.
The other day someone was telling me about a food truck cook they were talking to and how demanding the job is. I responded that we have a great luxury in that even when we’re working hard, we can always check on Twitter or read some stuff on blogs if we need a mental break. That luxury is worth the cost of always being on call to some degree. Heck, I’m writing this blog post while I’m at work, but at the same time I’m going to be up in the middle of the night launching some new stuff. I’m comfortable with the tradeoff.