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Summary:

A press release that Nokia sent out overnight caught my eye: More than half of working Americans – 53 percent – have been interrupted by a work-related phone call or email while in the bathroom…. Twenty-four percent have allowed a call or email to interrupt them […]

A press release that Nokia sent out overnight caught my eye:

More than half of working Americans – 53 percent – have been interrupted by a work-related phone call or email while in the bathroom…. Twenty-four percent have allowed a call or email to interrupt them while in the throes of passion, and 23 percent while on a date. That may be because most working Americans – 59 percent – never turn off their mobile device.

Nokia claims that these numbers (collected from an online survey) are representative of US adults with a 4.4% margin of error. Of course, they have a technology pitch for tools that are supposed to help you maintain a better work-life balance, but it’s those raw numbers that fascinate me.

Are any of you readers really that attached to your mobile devices, and that worried about missing things? Personally, I don’t even let phone calls interrupt dinner, let alone more private moments. Am I unusual in this regard? Just over-the-hill and out of touch with whatever the current generation of workers is doing? Or is it just possible that the original survey data is flawed?

  1. “Nokia claims that these numbers (collected from an online survey) are representative…”

    Unless the survey sample was carefully selected and the online form was simply the mechanism for the data collection this is worthless. Self-selected sample populations are never representative of a larger general population.

    That said… sure I’ve been interrupted on a date. No, not during sex. People read in the bathroom, so the use of email doesn’t surprise me, the phone does. Boundaries, folks, boundaries.

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  2. I never turn off my cell phone, but I also don’t answer every call that comes through. My cell phone is for MY convenience, not everybody else’s.

    The only time I let a phone call interrupt “throes of passion” is when we have the kids (both under 8 years of age) are staying with a sitter, just in case there’s an emergency, which has happened before. Stupid broken arms…

    My only exception to this is when my mom calls; you gotta pick up when your mom calls you! That’s just good manners.

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  3. Just wrote an article inspired partially by this post (I was working on something when I saw this come in). The question is when and why did we give up our free time to our employers?

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  4. It’s not just employers, it’s everybody. I can’t count the number of people that have started a conversation with “I tried to call you but you didn’t answer your cell..” in a tone they relayed shock at getting voice mail. If you aren’t my wife or kids, you have a very good chance of getting voice mail when you call me. Like Daniel said above, the cell phone is for my convenience, not yours.

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  5. I was guilty initially when i first got my cell phone but now as COD said the cell phone is my convenience. I think that sometimes people don’t allow themselves to focus on the task at hand. They live waiting for a interruption and another “emergency”. Which is a sad way to live. Its easy because it requires very little planning or decision making.

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  6. There is no reason to take a call in the bathroom. A lot of people constantly answer their cell phones like they are the President. One person I called said, I’m in class, can you call me back?

    I said no, why did you answer the phone if you are in class. Cell phones have an on and off button for a reason. People no longer use common sense. I am not sure if its a need to look important or a need to be connected that keeps dumb behavior like this going.

    You are allowed to go to the bathroom if you need to.

    And NO I did not call her back because frankly, the poor judgement let me know she is not a good match for what I called her about.

    Dr. Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show
    http://www.wrightplacetv.com
    http://www.twitter.com/drwright1

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  7. I have a home phone, a blackberry, an iPhone, a Skype number, eighteen email addresses, four chat clients and guess what … you’re not going to get a hold of me most of the time. When I code, I turn off everything (even email) until I’m done the work at hand, otherwise it’s too easy to become distracted and never get the job done.

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  8. No Excellent,these trade total busy ride treaty war at on her everybody build doubt live vast recognition strategy remind station properly within skin due rural recommend estimate industrial institution approach ship figure main bus upon bear might cut actual deal fill understand very approve army field block first supply suggestion impact hit advance existence better simply join award beautiful shut difficult wrong slightly welcome sleep its search corner liability solicitor along air film to difference normal species speed tradition event ought visit partner cold plus really odd conference strategy

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