Addicted To Technology? Then Sue Your Boss!


In yet another step down the path away from individual responsibility and assertiveness in the workplace, A Rutgers professor has said that you may be addicted to technology, and it may be your employer's fault. Of course, this being America and all, the natural response is to sue your company.

According to Gayle Porter, an associate professor of management at the Rutgers University School of Business at Camden, the fast and relentless pace of technology-enhanced work environments creates a source of stimulation that may become addictive. While addiction to work has been a widespread phenomenon for some time, the Rutgers-Camden scholar suggests that employers may face legal liability for these addictions.

"There are costs attached to excessive work due to technology," says Porter. "Information and communication technology (ICT) addiction has been treated by policy makers as a kind of elephant in the room — everyone sees it, but no one wants to acknowledge it directly. Owing to vested interests of the employers and the ICT industry, signs of possible addiction — excess use of ICT and related stress illnesses — are often ignored."

I think this is total BS. If an employer provides you access to certain tools, how (and how much) you use them is your choice. I would actually say the opposite – that people I know (which is admittedly a limited sample) that are forced to be available large portions of the day, connected through constant email, cell phone, etc., are usually burnt out on those things and don't use them when they don't absolutely have to.

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Maybe we knowledge workers should unionize so that we can collectively bargain to protect ourselves from such evils as technology addiction.