Friday, September 19, 2008

Conflating "identities," er, Personas

"jhullman," of internet marketing company Pure Visibility, has a post today on the changes that technological advances have had on people's desire (and ability) to segregate their work life from their, um, "non-work" life: "What is it that has changed in the last 20 years, causing employees who may have avoided all thought of work after hours in the past to feel so compelled to answer, say, the stray business-related emails that trickle in on the weekend?"

I don't think it's the technology that makes this happen, nor is it some 3rd party aggregation of our identity data. If you don't want to be tempted to reply to work email on the weekend, have a seperate email account for your personal correspondence. Problem solved.

Well, not really. There's still the problem of getting people to actually NOT LOOK AT the office email during personal time.

The post concludes:

"'La perruque' is the french term for personal business done on company time, which no doubt spiked upon the embracing of the internet in many an organization. Michel de Certeau writes in his book 'The Practice of Everyday Life' that la perruque is a tactic used by the masses to subtly resist the powers that be. The real question is, What is the french word for the opposite, the subtle influence on employee identities exerted by the business, even the off hours?"

The French don't have a word for that, because the French would think you were crazy to do such a thing. What's the English for "joie de vivre?" - maybe we can learn from Paris...

Ha ha - I have to agree that the french would think the idea was crazy. They may however have a word for employer-encouraged alcoholism, or something along those lines.
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