Smartphones Killed the Three-Day Weekend

Description: It would seem an ideal time to take a break, but our ability to unplug and relax is under assault. A three-day weekend? We can barely get through three waking hours without working, new research shows. The average smartphone user checks his or her device 150 times per day, or about once every six minutes.


Date: May 24, 2013


There’s plenty of debate among economists and psychologists whether the economy is to blame, or we do this to ourselves. There’s little arguing that the concept of a Sabbath is in serious danger.

“It’s like an arms race … everything is an emergency,” said Tanya Schevitz, spokeswoman for Reboot, an organization trying help people unplug more often. “We have created an expectation in society that people will respond immediately to everything with no delay. It’s unhealthy, and it’s unproductive, and we can’t keep going on like this.”

There’s a long list of horribles associated with our new, always-on-digital lives: You are dumber. You are more stressed. You are losing sleep, and more depressed.  READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

  1. Has Technology affected our ability to enjoy and have downtime from our daily pursuits?  Why or Why Not?
  2.  “We need a modern day-rest that brings balance back to life”  Do you agree of disagree with this statement? Explain.

61 thoughts on “Smartphones Killed the Three-Day Weekend

  1. Laren Michel

    Technology has affected our ability to enjoy and have downtime in our daily lives. I myself is a smartphone addict! I have never gone a day without my cell phone. I honestly do not know how some individuals do not have a phone for a day. I strongly believe that i would have a problem if i were to turn off my phone for the weekend. Although, before i was able to do a lot of things in the evenings and weekends. Technology is so unique that everyone is constantly looking for new things. Communication has changed rapidly as well. I communicate with my family more through texting and i constantly check my emails. You get information faster as well. I strongly believe that the title, “Smartphone killed the three day weekend” is true. There was so much to do without having a phone. You were able to go camping with no signal when there was no smartphones. Now that i go out camping. I feel like i have to have a cell phone to feel safe in case something happened! It is also sad that if you do not have your cell phone, someone is trying to reach you for an hour or two. They immediately think that something is wrong. It is because they know you have a cell phone and you should be able to be reached.
    “We need a modern day-rest that brings balance back to life” Do you agree of disagree.
    There are so many people spend so much time on there cell phones. Even when you are visiting family, they may find it disrespectful if you are on your phone and not speaking. Not having any technology is very impossible. Although, it would be nice not to have it around for a certain time.

  2. Robbie Rutkowski

    Smartphones are a great invention and have changed how the world communicates. Not only by the ways of sending a quick text message or calling someone but by integrating email and social media and the Internet into one. Communication has changed and we almost expect an instant reply to an email or social media message because of notifications that are sent to the recipient letting them know how bout the message and to check their phone. However with such great technology the weekend has changed as well, it is just that much harder to leave everything behind and go on a camping trip just for the fact of wondering what is going on around the world and if anyone has sent you a new notification. Life has changed and so has the way we communicate.

  3. Brady Hoffart

    It seems to me that technology has the ability to limit our downtime. Case and point I didn’t check my emails at all this weekend, when I returned I had 51 emails waiting for me to return to. Also when the technology is at your hands it is harder to turn away from it. If you are bored or are sitting down to watch a movie, all of a sudden it seems like a good idea to get a little work done while you watch.
    It surprises me how much the average smart phone user checks their phone according to the article. Personally I can turn off my phone for hours on end. I suppose it makes sense when things like walking and driving are so mundane and day to day that you need music for everything. But in the sense of work, replacing music with voice controlled emails and sending texts to coworkers, this becomes ridiculous.
    It seems that even though it shouldn’t it becomes easier and easier to get sucked into a workaholic life. As the article says people are becoming increasingly “tethered to their desks”. The technology just becomes increasingly more useful in a life that is run off work. Even though down time should be taken, it doesn’t seem to be as people can’t sit through a meal without their phone. In truth programs shouldn’t have to exist that shut down your internet and such. That they do is silly because cannot contain themselves and I hope this changes someday.

  4. Michelle McCaffrey

    I think the world today revolves around technology and our smartphones, and a lot of people have a hard time taking a break from their phones to enjoy life without a phone. It is honestly the best feeling when you go on vacation and leave your home behind; you forget how relaxing a vacation can be without feeling the need to catch up on emails or social media on your phone. I think a lot of people feel they can’t function without a phone and knowing they might miss something if they are not plugged into technology at all hours of the day. People get so caught up in their phone when they are plugged into social media, Facebook and their email they forget to come back to reality. I find it truly sad that our world revolves around technology and you hardly have conversations with anyone anymore. Instead you creep their Facebook page or text them to catch up with old friends and where they are in life. I do believe “We need a modern day-rest that brings balance back to life”. I think a lot of people spend too much time using technology and when they go on vacation or have a weekend off they should unplug from the online world and live without their phones. It is possible to get through a day without looking at emails or going online to catch up on some celebrity gossip. I like the commercial we were shown in class of the group of kids going for a hike and turning around when they have no cell reception. It shines a light on the new generation and how much they can’t live without technology.

  5. Christian Blott

    As humans we have extreme primal emotions that affect us every single day. Arguably, fear can be the most driving factor if you let it. The digital culture that we live in presently provides more social interaction and information than ever before. The fear of not knowing what is happening with your company by not checking your emails leads to anxiety. The fear of not texting your friends and finding out what they are all doing Friday night leads to stress. We are social creatures and this endless supply of interaction that smartphones brings play on our greatest weakness. We have become so attached to staying involved that we can’t seem to let go, we have re-train our minds to be still. So much information processing in our brains lead to much higher levels of stress and it is proven that stress leads to disease and the deterioration of your health. The marginal productivity of your actions rapidly decreases after an 8 hour work day. Would it not make more sense to get a higher quality of work in a shortened week than to have average productivity by over exerting yourself? Progressive countries have already weiged these factors. Germany has already condensed their standard work week to 4 days because you will get more creative and quality productivity from your employees by allowing them to rest. Ultimately, it is one’s own choice how they allocate there time, but because stress is so closely linked to sickness it will influence the majority.

  6. Taryn Gackle

    Has Technology affected our ability to enjoy and have downtime from our daily pursuits? Why or Why Not?

    I believe technology has affected our ability to have downtime from our daily lives. I myself know I have an addiction to my cellphone. I can be checking my Facebook on my computer and I’ll find myself doing the exact same thing on my cellphone. Why? I couldn’t tell you. I remember when I went to Europe with my highschool and I left my cellphone at home. Myself and some other friends of mine have experienced withdrawals. I remember thinking my phone was vibrating in my pocket when in reality it was safe at home not being used. Technology may have advanced ways in which we learn but it can also prove to be an incredible distraction from things we must do to succeed. I find it incredibly hard to study knowing that I have lives on candy crush to use or a new episode of my favourite tv show to watch. This could also take value away from relationships. Lately I believe I speak to my family more through text messaging and Facebook updates than I do in person. This can make it difficult to maintain strong relationships with people.

    “We need a modern day-rest that brings balance back to life” Do you agree of disagree with this statement? Explain

    A day of rest may be beneficial to restore balance. Could everyone turn off all technology for an entire day though? Probably not. This article speaks of starting small, such as turning off phones during dinner. I believe it is a little ridiculous to even have to tell your family to put their phones away during dinner. I find it disrespectful to be constantly on your phone when having dinner with the family, where most conversation occurs. I know for myself by the end of the week I am usually stressed and worn out. However, most students don’t have time to “take a day of rest”, especially when also holding down a part time job. With work, homework, and midterms life can be extremely stressful. Though taking a day of rest may be near impossible, turning my phone and tv off to study is not.

  7. Daniel

    The article “Smartphones killed the three day weekend” exposes human’s dependency and addiction to smart phones. Culturally, we have evolved into a society that cannot function without their smart phones. I have witnessed this first hand; without a smart phone I feel naked and incomplete, it is within arm’s reach at all times, even when I sleep. My family has a strict no phone policy at the dinner table, and sometimes when I am out with friends we agree to put our phones away. So to answer the question, Has Technology affected our ability to enjoy and have downtime from our daily pursuits, I would say absolutely. Prior to the smart-technology era work would end as the week ended. You had freedom on the weekend, could unwind, and regain your energy for the following week to come. In today’s smart technology era the work week never ends. We work from our phone and computer at all times, neglect the important things in life, and run ourselves into the ground. We are constantly checking emails, replying to clients and work associates, and never separate yourself from work. With our dependency to smart technology we absolutely need a modern day-rest that brings balance back to life. Without this we would get burnt out and loose interest in our work. A modern day rest would allow the individual to get back to reality, have an important downtime with friends and family and regain the energy needed for the following weeks to come. Otherwise your brain will eventually turn to mush.

  8. Mitchell Kolt

    Has Technology affected our ability to enjoy and have downtime from our daily pursuits? Why or Why Not?

    Technology has affected our ability to enjoy and have downtime from daily pursuits. In pre technology era’s people use to have weekends and evenings free. In that time was used to unwind. Now in this day and age with technology such as the iPhone, Ipad, etc. times have changed. The article explains using the example of the memorial day weekend, a three day weekend in the U.S. that people now aren’t generally spending it away from work but are likely working using that have never really been available to humans in history till now. It explains how people fought prior in history to have time off in the form of unions and now people are reverting to the times of working on time they fought to have off. The main reason is because of technology is why this is occurring. The article asks the question is it ok to work all the time because technology makes easy to do so or do people still need time off so they can be fresh when they do work. I believe they do they need to be fresh and time off is important.

    “We need a modern day-rest that brings balance back to life” Do you agree of disagree with this statement? Explain.

    Agree with the statement, “we need a modern day-rest that brings balance back to life”. Mainly because I know from personal experience that if I overwork myself I become burnt out and have more difficulty working the more I work. I learned this through studying for university. If I take sometime away from it for a bit like say a night or two I’ll come back mo

    1. Hannah

      Anyone that disagrees with the notion that technology has robbed us of a 3-day weekend needs to give their head a serious shake. As a society, we already work way harder than before because of the lack of downtime. I absolutely believe that people become far more capable when they decide to recharge by unplugging their email or work-related gadget. The most fascinating part of this article is the fact that we all have an inflated view of our self-importance; of course the world will continue to turn, but then why is it so hard to shut off your Iphone and believe that? Maybe the work obsessed people see this as a way to spread themselves a little further and not put in so many consecutive hours in the office, but they never really stop. The anxiety felt from a lack of technology and communication is something of definite concern, and I think that we all need to monitor our usage and be careful. Articles like this make me sad, and concerned for the future generations. Even now it is very strange when people are walking to school with a phone in front of their face instead of looking up, or not enjoying a meal without their constant companions over text/email. It is frightening that we are getting more stressed and specifically more depressed. I think that an effective means of stopping or at least slowing the cycle of unhappiness, would involve setting limits for yourself in terms of usage; also having time allotted that you do not touch that device, and just be present in where you are and what you are doing.

  9. Shayla Mysek

    Technology has absolutely affected our ability to enjoy and have downtime from our daily pursuits. People have become so fascinated with the idea of having constant contact with one another that it is hard to separate ourselves from it. As the article states, on average, people are on their phone almost every 6 minutes. It becomes a habit for people and breaking habit is a difficult thing to do, even if is for their benefit. Technology has made it harder to separate our personal lives from our business lives. It is just so easy to pick up a phone or a computer to “quickly” check an email, which may turn into 2 or 3 emails and then before you know it, the entire weekend has been a long chain of emailing and no relaxation. This affects our health because technology stimulates our mind which makes it harder to relax and sleep, even after we have put the phone, or computer or whatever form of technology we are using down. The less sleep and relaxation we have, the more likely we are to burn out. I agree that we need a modern day-rest to bring balance back to life. This should be exercised daily instead of yearly or monthly. especially when we are resting. Before we go to sleep at night, our phones should be put away at least an hour before in order to allow our minds to rest thus allowing for a better quality sleep. As for vacations and time off, our technology should be off most of the time if not all in order to gain a quality rest from the stress of our jobs.


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