It’s Sunday, and one of the things I notice every Sunday is that interest in the news is significantly higher than it is on Saturdays.
Twitter feels more active on Sundays. Traffic to Business Insider is almost always meaningfully higher on Sundays than on Saturdays. And of course, traditional media has always used Sunday for big marquee products, whether they be the New York Times Magazine or Meet The Press.
It seems that totally disconnecting for two days is too excruciating for a lot of people, so that by Sunday morning they’re eager to start getting back into the swing of things.
Why don’t people want to disconnect more?
Kit Juckes, an economist at SocGen, wrote a post on his personal blog yesterday on the blurring of work and leisure in modern life that may explain some of this. In his post he talks about spending his weekend writing and reading about … economics (which is what he’s paid to do during the week):
We still go to ‘work’ for money, but quite a lot of people would do the same thing in their leisure time as they do at work. One of the tragedies of our society is that so many old people suffer from loneliness and that’s one reason why people work. You go to work to get paid, but it becomes a centre of your social life. I’ve seen too many men retire and then age 5 years in a few months and slowly vegetate because they have no idea what to do with their time, to believe that a life of enforced ‘leisure’ is so appealing that it should be the dominant goal of my working life.
I choose economics as a way to spend time, for work or in leisure. It would have been nice to have played golf this morning but frost having intervened, I’ve spent a couple of enjoyable hours reading. Was that work or leisure? The answer is that today, it’s leisure because I’m not being paid. And that’s a good thing because otherwise, I’d have to count all the hours I spend thinking about financial markets as ‘work’ and that would immediately make me less productive.
Far from everyone has a job where they’re truly stimulated, and get to be around people who provide them an invigorating level of social interaction. But for the people who do have that, two days is a long time to totally shut that out. After a day, it’s time to start warming back up and getting into work mode.
For many professionals it seems, Sunday is less a “day off” than it is to do similar things as you might do while “at work” but without the infrastructure and bureaucracy of being “on the job.”