24×7 AVAILABILITY FOR MAILS & MESSAGES

O el problema de tener que contestar mails y mensajes de inmediato./ Or the problem of having to reply to emails and messages immediately.

Las facilidades y los beneficios de la tecnología son incontables, desde poder vivir en Madrid y contactar con un cliente en Singapur o en Buenos Aires, pasando por el entretenimiento infinito y la democratización (por ahora) del contenido. Sin embargo hay formatos y comportamientos a los que nos hemos acostumbrado muy rápido, reconfigurado nuestra manera de vivir y afectando las emociones de lo que al final sigue siendo un ser humano y no una máquina. La idea de que hay que estar disponible 24/7 para mails y mensajes es una de esas prácticas./ The amenities and benefits of technology are countless, from being able to live in Madrid and contact a client in Singapore or Buenos Aires, through infinite entertainment and democratization (for now) of content. However, there are formats and behaviors to which we have become accustomed very quickly, reconfigured our way of living and affecting the emotions of human beings, persons behind machines. The idea of the 24×7 availability for mails is one of those behaviors.

📫 24×7 AVAILABILITY FOR MAILS & MESSAGES 📬

Lo de la disponibilidad 24/7 para contestar mails y mensajes lleva tiempo siendo un problema, pero puede que empezáramos a pensar más en ello a partir del teletrabajo derivado del -no lo digas- c*rona v*rus (algo que no se dio en las situaciones ideales y por tanto hubo un punto de choque). Muchos trabajadores nunca fijaron un inicio y un final a las jornadas laborales, pero incluso cuando se trata de mensajes personales exigimos una respuesta casi inmediata y no pensamos que la otra persona puede estar ocupada lavando los platos, pelando patatas o simplemente quiere ejercer el válido derecho de desaparecer del internet./ The 24×7 availability for emails and messages has been a problem for some time, but we may have started to think more about it after -do not say- c*rona v*rus (It was a shock point for many people who went from working in an office to working at home from day to another). Many workers never established a start and an end to their workdays, but even when it comes to personal messages we demand an almost immediate response but maybe the other person may be busy washing dishes, peeling potatoes or just wanting to exercise the valid right to disappear from the internet.

Pero ese derecho de desconexión es ejercido por pocas personas, sobre todo porque el teléfono desdibuja los límites. Poner barreras podría ser la solución óptima, pero es lo mismo a cuando trabajas desde casa (como mi caso), y tienes que ser consciente de que el mismo espacio es tu oficina / tu lugar de ocio y una cueva de descanso./ But that right of disconnection is practiced by few people, especially since phone blurs the limits. Putting up barriers could be the optimal solution, but it is the same as when you work from home (as in my case), and you have to be aware that the same space is your office, your leisure place and a resting cave.

Collage by Hey Fungi / Photo Mad Men TV show via IMDB

💌 YOU’VE GOT 83943 UNREAD MESSAGES 📬

Un mal hábito contemporáneo que todos fomentamos: enviar una solicitud e inmediatamente revisar el correo, pedir respuestas inmediatas por redes sociales e impacientarse ante la respuesta lenta de un amigo que tal vez está cansado de ser persona por un día concreto. Incluso cuando tratamos con empresas u organismos no debemos olvidar que muchas de esas tareas tienen que ver con procesos humanos y por tanto con emociones./ 24×7 availability for mails is a bad contemporary habit that we all foment: to send a request and immediately check the mail, ask for immediate responses on social media and get impatient at the slow response of a friend who may be tired of being a person for that specific day. Even when dealing with companies or organizations we must not forget that many of these tasks have to do with human processes and therefore with emotions.

Suena a una tontería, pero me gusta comenzar los mensajes por “hola, ¿cómo estás?” o “espero te encuentres bien”. Incluso en momentos de rudeza (como clientes preguntando por precio sin siquiera dar los buenos días) hay que ejercer el gesto de educación como píldora para no amargarnos al día. Antes esperábamos semanas/meses para recibir una carta, ¿será que moriremos por ver un “mensaje sin respuesta” por un par de horas?/ It sounds silly, but I like to start messages by “hello, how are you?” or “I hope you are well”. Even in moments of rudeness (as clients asking for prices without even saying good morning) you have to exercise the gesture of education as a pill to avoid a bitter day. A few years ago we used to wait for weeks / months to receive a letter, so maybe we can keep alive by seeing an “unanswered message” for a couple of hours?

Muchos CEOs como Kate Unsworth promueven la idea de fijar un horario para contestar mails y mensajes, excluyendo las urgencias que no se pueden controlar. Un mensaje de WhatsApp de trabajo fuera de la jornada hace que la mente ya no descanse, sobre todo en tiempos donde hay una presencia excesiva de aplicaciones, videollamadas, plataformas  para organizar las tareas online y la idea de que la vida por si misma ya es bastante complicada./ Many CEOs like Kate Unsworth promote the idea of setting a time to reply emails and messages, excluding emergencies that cannot be controlled. A WhatsApp message out of your working schedule may break your rest, especially in times where there is an excessive presence of apps, video calls, platforms to organize online tasks and the idea that life by itself is already quite complicated.

La tecnología no es el enemigo, pero la normalización de la hiperconectividad pasa factura y es algo que necesita fronteras. Pero no les voy a negar que por un instante me gustaría volver a mi cerebro pre-internet, a los tiempos del Nokia 8850 y de los tamagotchi./ Technology is not the enemy, but the normalization of hyperconnectivity takes its toll and is something that needs borders. But I am not going to deny you that for a moment I would like to go back to my pre-internet brain, to the times of the Nokia 8850 and the Tamagotchi.

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  • You are so right, people have gotten so impatient. Being available all the time is not a good idea because it makes people more stressed. It is hard to focus on your work or social life when you have to be available all the time….in the long run it affects our concentration negatively and makes us less productive as a society.

    As a teacher people expect me to be available 24/7 and to answer to all messages immediately. This got worse with corona. My husband was driven mad by the thousands of messages and calls I received daily from my students and their parents during lockdown…I feel like he was forced to share my work because we live together. It must have been very stressful for him.

      • Thanks for visiting many times Ivana 🙂 I totally agree with you, our concentration is falling everyday and nowadays it is very difficult to focus on single tasks since stimulus are everywhere!

        I can imagine that your husband is struggling with this, maybe you can set some schedules to make it easier 🙂 But obviously emergencies can happen from time to time.

        Best !

  • Hello Pablo, how’s going this odd summer in Barcelona?
    I guess it must feel different and a bit sadder like here in Rome, without festivals, looong happy hours, strolls at late night and dancing on the beach…
    Still I’m trying to enjoy the city half empty and without tourists and discover it better!

    Anyway, about the topic of the day: I really hate to be available 20/7! But really a lot!
    So I’ve got a phone fo the work that I shut down when I don’t want to be disturbed and on my personal phone I’ve removed almost all the notifications (except my familiar watsapp): it was impossible to me to ignore them!
    I check the mails 2 times at day and do the same with socials, so that I can organize my day without the stress of having contantly plans changed for someone else’s needing!
    You’re right: technology is not the enemy but we have to learn how to handle it to our advantage or we risk to be overwhelmed from it!

    Take care, dear!
    XO
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

    • Hello Silvia, I am doing well!

      I am trying to make the best out of this odd summer, but at least I’m planning to discover some places that are new for me, like some houses from Gaudí 🙂

      I totally agree with you, it is better to check our mail on counted occasion so we can organize our days in the best way possible!

  • Yeah, I like the idea of having some time a day set aside to answer stuff. Brendon Burchard also talks about doing your most important things first, and then take the time to answer messages and email. Because when answering, you’re focusing on what other people need and not your most important work tasks. Anyways, can I just say how much I love these photos? Trés chic! Xx

    http://www.thefashionfolks.com

  • OMG, LOVE the Mad Men graphics! And this is so true. I love technology along with everyone else but really at this point I think we have all the technology we need. We have bigger problems to deal with in the world don’t need any more technology to make like easier? Yes turn off and tune out. Set boundaries. We all need to start living in the real world and remember what is truly important.

    Allie of
    http://www.allienyc.com

    • Hey Allie! Thanks for noticing MAD MEN on the graphics, one of my favorite tv shoes!

      And I totally agree with you, to set boundaries is crucial, but with all the apps available the situation could get tricky.

      Stay safe 🙂

  • Oh I understand your thoughts. By living far from my family I couldn’t imagine living without internet and wait a long time before to get their news. It’s hard to imagine a world without video calling especially when you live aboard. But at the same time It’s not so good because we’re used to reach each other really easily and when we don’t get news from each other fast enough we get worry. It’s not rare of having 10 missing calls instead of 1 if they can’t reach me because they’re way too used of me answering right away.

    And I love your last sentence mentioning the tamagotchi. Now it makes me want to have one haha.
    I miss the 90’s too but I can’t imagine my world without internet.
    xx
    Margot
    https://troughthepasturesofthesky.com

    • Hello Margot,

      We are in the same situation! I normally have whatsapp on and next by me all day, but during certain hours I have to be on the family chat, so of course technology is not the enemy but it could become tricky specially with many work issues or people that is very demanding.

  • Hey Fungi!

    I hope you are well! I agree your style of starting mail 🙂
    Some clients for me start like family, and they are usually selfish!

    Anyway, your three images are so lovely and cool!
    In particular, I really love no.1 because a telephone and watch remind me of great movie scenes in 50s and 60s. The color is also beautiful!! Can we call “Ice green” or “Fungi green”?

    Akiko

    P.S.
    I laughed to read “Goro as an assistant ” from you on my latest blog, hahaha 🙂

    • Hello Akiko! Thanks for catching up 🙂

      Selfish, haha that’s the correct word when it comes to this problem, right? Sometimes we get busy doing other things and we all deserve a break to do other activities 🙂

      Oooh and yes, we can call it Fungi Green, I like that name for this particular color 😉

      Stay safe!

  • Hey Pablo! Hope you’re doing well 🙂

    So many valid points made in this article. I think now that we have this 24/7 connection to the digital world, we are so used to everything, particularly conversations happening quickly. It is one thing when it is related to your work, but even worse if we are talking about private lives (I can only guess just how many fights happened around not getting a quick response after “last seen online at..”, “message read at..” etc.). As if there is an invisible countdown clock that then turns into a ticking time bomb.

    I agree with you, this obsession with being present or available online at all times should stop at some point. There is more to this life than just answering text messages or emails xx

    Naya
    http://www.nayatilly.com

    • Hello Naya, thank you so much for stopping by ✨

      Those tools you mentioned (last seen, message read) could be the most problematic things in the digital world, both in personal and business relationships.

      Since platforms never stop I think it is crucial to set boundaries (each one should decide the terms) but at least setting simple rules like don’t answer work mails after a certain hour could help a little when it comes to have a healthier life 🙂

  • Hey Fungi!

    Omg… I remember those tamagotchi times. They were too fun and a lot less stressful because we were just kids.

    I don’t but I’m one who loves communication and answering emails as quickly as I can. It keeps me feeling connected to the world. I always try to apply as soon as I can. However, I do take breaks…when I’m out enjoying an activity or hanging out with friends, I barely look at my phone.

    Happy July and summer! Talk soon and thanks for your nice comments.

    http://www.fashionradi.com

    • Hello Radi!

      As you I try to reply some messages as quickly as I can, but it depends on the urgency, many can wait but some others may deserve a fast reply. And I congratulate you for taking time off from your phone, totally necessary in today’s busy world 🙂

  • I can completely relate to this post. Since I’ve been spending almost all of my time organising documentaries from home, that line between personal calls and work calls is really blurred. It seems as though I’m getting a constant stream of messages from all of these people and it’s actually really difficult! Trying to establish a barrier may be key but it’s also very challenging.

    In other news, I’m moving to Tudela in Navarra tomorrow! I will be living with a family that only speaks Spanish, which is quite similar to the last family I lived with several years ago. So I will be relying on my completely rudimentary Spanish – and will finally be able to comment in Spanish on your blog! In answer to your question, I would LOVE for you to comment in Spanish on my blog, it’s good practise for me to understand it! I’m not very confident with speaking Spanish but I think that I am a strong reader in Spanish – or at least I have the reading level of an eight year old!

    • Hello Amy, thank you so much for sharing your personal experience with me 🙂

      Since we are working from home this barrier can get almost invisible, so in the end each one must find a personal way to keep messages in the most organized way, but I’d say this needs practice and time to master.

      And good luck with your new adventure in Navarra! If you come to Barcelona one day let me know 😀

  • Such an interesting post and I agree with you however I love the idea of replying to messages and work on my terms I check my email in the morning then social media follows including DMs once it is done I will repeat following day however DM is different as I try to reply and get rid of them as often as possible so I can reply to everyone especially clients I love the accessibility Thanks for the amazing post Have a lovely weekend Cris
    http://www.photosbycris.com.au/?p=7344

    • Hello Cris! Thanks for taking the time to read.

      Of course, we should set boundaries and certain rules, for example as you my clients come first, but some messages are not that urgent, so the most practical thing is to set priorities 🙂

  • Hey Pablo,

    just loved this post! The aesthetic of your pictures is just beautiful. Also the topic is interesting, it’s insane that we are always available and people do become super rude if you don’t reply in a second. Lately I was on vacation for only 3 days and came back to 130 mails!! Insane..

    Also I didn’t know that you blog from Barcelona.. hello neighbor 😉 If you are in the mood let’s connect and grab a coffee sometime.

    lots of love, Miri
    http://www.meetmimri.com

    lots of love, Miri
    http://www.meetmimri.com

    • Hello Miri!

      Thanks for your compliment and for taking the time to share your impression with me 🙂 The worst part is that people is getting so impatient and sometimes they don’t seem to understand that there is a real person behind the computer, not a machine.

      Aaaah and I didn’t know you’re in BCN, that would be great!

  • This is such an important topic. I agree that since a lot of us are working from home at the moment it blurs the line between work and rest. What i do is to limit checking my emails after office hour (that’s 6pm for me). I try to balance work and rest as much as possible eventhough I doing it from the same space. I guess what we can do is to be more understanding of the other person’s timing of reply. There’s still room for adjustment for all of us.

    • Thanks for visiting dear 🙂

      I always appreciate a lot that you take the time to share your personal experiences with me!

      Have a great weekend!

  • Esto es super real ami! dime a mi que a veces a las 2am me comienzan a sonar las notificaciones whatsapp de clientes chinos :/ La tecnologia es maravillosa pero a veces si dan ganas de desaparecer porque como bien dices la gente espera respuesta ahorita ya y ni hablar cuando son tus amigos jajaja te mandan el mail o el mensaje y al minuto te llaman diciendo “oye te acabo de enviar un mail no lo viste aun”??
    Creo que todos debemos tratar de tener horarios y tener mas controlado esto de la comunicacion instantanea porque al final nunca nos desconectamos al 100% y a veces es super necesario 🙂

    • Cher qué linda, gracias por pasarte a leer el blog ❤️

      Totalmente de acuerdo, es que a veces somos tan impacientes que no le damos margen de error ni siquiera a nuestros amigos….