Slaves of the ultraconexión: why shut down the mobile phone has become the new luxury

half of The workers in Spain responds to 'mails' and attends to the phone outside of his working hours. I would like to not do it, but can't. Live today with

Slaves of the ultraconexión: why shut down the mobile phone has become the new luxury

half of The workers in Spain responds to 'mails' and attends to the phone outside of his working hours. I would like to not do it, but can't. Live today without a mobile phone with internet access is only available to senior executives, 'celebrities'...

The prophecy of Evgeny Morozov, the arch-heretic of the internet: "Everything is going to go much worse."

Noon on a Saturday either. Vibrates the mobile. The notice of a mail of the boss interrupted the reeds. What do you do? A) What you read in that same time and you answer. B) you ignore It and wait to Monday to see what she wants. Ahem, ahem... After thinking about it a bit, you choose the first option. As many others.

51% of the active population Spanish confesses that responds to emails and attends work calls on weekends or during their holiday, according to the report InfoJobs-ESADE 2017. These trabajólicos not do so voluntarily. What it's about. Utopia digital promised us that operate outside the office-when, where and how we would like to - would make us really free, but the paradox is that the ultraconexión has degenerated into slavery technological.

More data. 36% of professionals report picks up the phone and check the mailbox outside of working hours because they feel obligated to do it. Another 34% alleges that the own job requires that availability. And a 14% stresses that feels the need to be aware of everything that happens in your company, although it is located in the corner bar or in the beach.

Against this vassalage, every time most influential people touting the benefits of living without the internet in your pocket. The singer Selena Gomez, the person with the most followers in the social networks of the world, unplugged from the Network for 90 days in 2016. The british actor Eddie Redmayne, winner of the Oscar for The theory of everything, spent almost all of that same year with a brick such as that used in the 90's. Steve Hilton, the former right arm of the prime minister David Cameron and current presenter of the channel Fox, has directed a start-up in San Francisco until the past month of march without take the hand of the smartphone... Steven Spielberg, Ed Sheeran, Kendall Jenner... The list of celebrities that have been granted a respite off-line in a given time is long.

Such an accumulation of cases reveals a strange phenomenon: up to do anything, to have a smart phone equate to wealth and freedom, but now that wealth and freedom provided by the fact of not having it. We will call it the metaphor of the suit: what for decades was a piece distinctive in the costume of a minority (bankers, lawyers, politicians) is currently the uniform impersonal of any commercial.... Meanwhile, the great gurus of Silicon Valley and the managers of hedge funds, the truly powerful of our era, are allowed to go to the office in a t-shirt.

The philosopher Santiago Alba Rico found two explanations to the fact that be managed without wifi has become a privilege available to very few. "The first has to do with the economist Thorstein Veblen and the display of status: the need to distinguish themselves from the majority. G. K. Chesterton expressed it this way in one of his books: when the poor begin to eat meat, the rich become vegetarians".

The other explanation, says Alba Rico, "is less frivolous": "The elites know better the reality and they have more resources, so that, in addition to be able to measure more accurately the slope addictive and socially destructive new technologies, have alternatives much more satisfying. The rulers of the world need time to think and time to enjoy, two things which are quite incompatible with the mobile and the networks."

With the technology we always think about what we can do, never on what compels us to do. A hammer requires very little; the network, to always use it

Santiago Alba Rico, philosopher

That disconnect digital is not a priority for half of the workers of this country sounds bad. Sounds like a deadly mix of expectations of better employment and salary) and dopamine (the chemical that releases the brain associated with addiction). "It is not a bonded labour, is an easement technological," says Alba Rico. "When we think of technology we always think about what we can do, never on what compels us to do. And that is what is important. A hammer requires us to very little, not even to hammer in a nail if we have to hang a picture, then we can abandon ourselves to laziness. In exchange, the Network agrees to use it all the time, because it is not a tool, but a body: we are required to use the kidney constantly."

But what is certain is that those who want to unplug the same thing that Selena Gomez or that colleague who presumed to turn off your iPhone when it leaks a week to Formentera can't do it. "76% [of the respondents] is in favor of the company in which you are working apply any law to disconnect digital", confirms the head of Studies of InfoJobs, Neus Margalló, who defines this aspiration majority with the words of the curritos: "Something desired but difficult to carry out."

The controversy over the use of personal information by the political parties has made precisely this issue has gone unnoticed in the recently passed Organic Law of Data Protection. Article 88 of the new rules recognizes that "workers and public employees shall have the right to disconnect digital in order to ensure, outside of work time legally or conventionally established, the respect of your time of rest, permits and holidays, as well as their personal and family intimacy". Translated: gone are the emails, calls or whatsapps at odd times.

The shield in front of the "devices of video surveillance and geo-location is even picked up in the Workers' Statute. Some measures that have already committed large private companies such as Banco Santander, Telefonica, AXA, Volkswagen or IKEA, and that has its origin in France with known as The Law Khomri, which entered into force on 1 January 2017.

If you see where they work the majority of young people, combining jobs, and being continuously evaluated for its services, the disconnection is not the solution

Evgeny Morozov, essayist and critic of the abuse of technology

The problem is that not everyone works for a multinational. Or that there are markets, such as, for example, that of the economy collaborative, which have their own characteristics. The essayist Evgeny Morozov, one of the biggest critics with the derived technology of our time, warned a Paper in Barcelona a few days ago.

"We are still talking about the right to disconnect, but that is to presuppose that you have a stable employment, protected by unions, at a factory German or French, and you work from nine to five. With these conditions, the right to the disconnection makes a lot of sense, but if you see where they work the majority of young people now, combining five or six jobs, and being continuously evaluated by those who receive its services, is not the solution for them." And again with the look of the elite of Palo Alto, he added: "I Think that the people who have won some money in the digital economy, and who want to prosper even more, know when to disconnect."

That was the case of Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president of Growth of Users of Facebook. "I think that, in the background, deep inside, we knew that something bad could happen [...]. So, in my opinion, the situation right now is really bad. Is eroding the foundations of how people act to each other. And I don't have a good solution. My solution is that I have stopped using those tools. Many years ago," unchecked in his time.

The confession plays as in his last book, Jaron Lanier, another of the most famous renegades in the 2.0 world that he himself helped to create. Ten reasons to delete your social networks right away (Ed. Debate) is the particular act of contrition of this philosopher, musician and architect of the concept of virtual reality. Lanier had just send to the printer in march when a scandal exploded in the nose: the filtration of data of Cambridge Analytica.

"Pushed a sudden and radical movement in which people began to delete their accounts from Facebook. Unfortunately, not all public figures and opinion leaders, managed the time with the courage necessary. There were gurus who tried to pull out of the networks, but they could not," writes in the book. "Yes, to be able to go is a privilege; there are many people who really can't do it. However, if you can and not what you do, you're not supporting the unfortunate, you're only reinforcing the system in which is trapped a lot of people".

By telephone from his home in Los Angeles, Lanier confirms that two circumstances have made us tremble the culture of Silicon Valley" in a way that considers "beneficial". The first is that the developers of Google and other giants are now parents and have realized that their own products are "manipulative and dangerous". The second is "the policy, of course," he summarizes. "We are seeing the wave of people moody and immature that create social networks. What is curious is that this people has appeared in countries all over the world who have nothing in common except Facebook and Google: Sweden, Brazil, united States, Hungary, Poland, the Philippines...". And Spain, of course.

to Be able to leave the social networking is a privilege. There are a lot of people who really can't do it. If you can and not what you do, you're reinforcing the system

Jaron Lanier, philosopher and author of the concept of virtual reality

Now that is cast over Christmas and New Year with their purposes of change, will the milagreros with the detox diet applied to the screens: a huge piece of roulade called Instagram, Twitter as a shot of more, the carols of or nth-to-binge on YouTube. "We have learned that even a phone on silent, it inhibits the possibility of starting conversations about topics that matter", wrote the sociologist, psychologist and associate professor at MIT's Sherry Turkle, in her essay bestselling book, In defense of the conversation (Ed. Attic of books). "The mere presence of a phone to the view makes us feel less connected with others, less involved in the lives of others."

That image of the smartphone as a black hole from which very few manage to escape inspires him to Alba Rico one last thought. "The tv off already produced a lot of angst, it was like an abyss in the middle of the room. Or worse: as the corpse of a man who had killed us with a gesture of the finger on the remote control. Disconnected -or have the mobile switched off on the table - it's like voluntarily giving up life, a suicide or a murder. The only true freedom that allow new technologies -say it time and time again - is the disconnection. The Network -the mobile connected to the Network - allows a margin of freedom is very small: the power, decision strong, radical, almost violent, that few are willing to assume as healthy."

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Updated Date: 17 December 2018, 08:01

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