Do We Always Have to Be Reachable?

A few weeks ago, a colleague IMed me just after 7:30 pm. It took me exactly 16 minutes to respond.

The next morning, she took it upon herself to sit me down and lecture me on the importance of “being reachable” and “response time.”

16 minutes, guys. After hours.

I listened, but was slowly searching for an answer to the one question that immediately rose up in my head in response…

I know that a lot of us have a knee jerk response to this — thoughts of our own emotional responses when someone doesn’t pick up, or leaves a text unanswered for too many hours.

But seriously, that aside.

Must we live our daily lives in constant emotional preparation?

Must we always keep our awareness piqued for interruption? Must we always have ourselves primed and at the ready, fully mentally available, in the event someone needs to reach us?

With work: even if we had a big launch going out the door, or a true fire, I argue that 16 minutes is well within reason — especially after hours. There are a million things in normal, human being life that take fifteen minutes, a great many of them relegated to the “after work hours” in which I undeniable was.


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Unlike pop-culture’s current obsession with bleak, heavy drama (Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad, we’re talking to you)


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