The billions of text messages, video calls and postings that are travelling through the world are in fact, seriously subverting the relationship of individuals with the institutions they belong to. They are challenging a number of well rooted conceptions on the need to remove people from their personal social environment in order for them to be productive and effective. The issues at stake are far more complex than â€œetiquetteâ€ because the conflict is between peopleâ€™s sense of fundamental emotional wellbeing and organizations that for the last 150 years have banned the private sphere from their premises. Much of society has functioned on the principle that attention, isolation and productivity are strictly interrelated; therefore each minute spent on personal communication is seen as reducing focus and efficiency. But is this really the case? Or is the problem that the intrusion of the private is suddenly and finally concerning everyone and not everyone is seen as sufficiently trustworthy to handle this new found autonomy?
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