During the Industrial Revolution, workers staring into the iron maw of machinery that did not fatigue, responded by fighting for the eight-hour day. Underpinned by the belief that quality of life was best maintained by eight hours labour, eight hours rest and eight hours recreation, now the Information Revolution is infiltrating all three.
The internet and its glossy harem of mobile devices give us access to information and entertainment anytime, anyplace. They have delivered a knockout blow to previous ways of life. Those of us cynical of technology’s benefits are considered old-fashioned or – worse – ‘out of the loop’. But constant connectivity is shadowed by health and wellbeing concerns. These include stress, disturbed sleep, less dedicated family time, plummeting concentration skills, weight problems, eroded holidays and burnout. Still, we can’t get enough. Demand for iPhones grew by 230% in Australia last year and globally children spend more time online than ever.
Spinning like tops in the middle of all this convenience and connectivity – are we happier?
Susan Maushart decided to find out.