Being connected has its ups and downs. As a mom, I feel comforted knowing I can reach my children when they are away from home. As a wife, knowing that I can call my husband and remind him that we need milk while he is at the grocery store makes my life much easier. But as an employee, being connected comes with baggage.
Like many professionals, I feel an unspoken expectation that I need to be reachable, even on my days off. This not only includes phone calls, but e-mails and instant messaging. It seems there is no escape from the possibility that at any given moment, I am expected to be back “on the job”, a feeling that negates some of the benefits of being away in the first place.
Even if your employer is not that demanding (and mine really isn’t), as employees there is an addiction to being connected 24 x 7. It’s part ego and part insecurity. We never want to find out that our employer, boss, or team can actually get along without us.
The umbilical cord that connects us with our employer also connects us to our co-workers through social media. We are Facebook Friends, LinkedIn, and Twitter mates. Personally, I think it is unhealthy to be that connected with the people I work with, especially my manager. While most interactions are harmless, we all know people whose opinions are so ‘out there’ that it affects how we feel about them as a co-worker. And heaven forbid we get too carried away with our own posts our of fear of what our office mate might think.
Connections are like bridges, joining us together, and that is not a bad thing. But even bridges have limits: times when they may be crossed, limits to what is brought from one side to the next. Our personal connections need some limits too