With the ubiquity of smart phones, the Internet and myriad other sources of information, the fine line between work and leisure has all but disappeared, leaving a bizarre hybrid in its wake: weisure. An article on CNN.com explains the phenomenon, coined by Dalton Conley, a New York University sociologist. He says that the few who haven't already abandoned the 9-to-5 workday for the 24-7 “life of weisure” will probably do so soon as part of the next step in the evolving work-life culture.
We’re willingly allowing work to invade our leisure time, he says, because working has become more fun. Sites such as MySpace and Facebook combine work with pleasure, especially when business colleagues or customers are part of your online network. It can even be addictive.
The down side, of course (and isn’t there always one?), is that we experience less time “off.” Instead, we’re always at work – at least in some sense – when we’re checking our e-mail at four in the afternoon on a Saturday or “friending” colleagues on Facebook or Twittering a story we heard on the news. Instead of designating the weekends as family time, more of us are being sucked back into the office (at least in a virtual sense) and finding ourselves conducting business. I, for one, am guilty of it, and worry that we’ve reached a point of no return. Once we start working around the clock, others follow suit and before you know it it’s almost expected that others are available all hours of the day.
Let’s all take a step back and re-examine our priorities. Work is, of course, important – but so is family. If you find yourself working through dinner or checking your voicemail or e-mail in the evenings, try to resist – at least for one night. Let’s not let the line fade away, but instead let it divide us into two selves: our work side and our leisure side. This way, both sides can remain intact and strong.