CHAINED TO MY DESK, THANKS

Friday - - Editor’s Letter - Natalie Long, ed­i­tor Reach me at nlong@gulfnews.com

I’ll ad­mit I in­dulged in a touch of schaden­freude half­way though the story on dig­i­tal no­mads on page 36. Giv­ing up the nine-to-five for a life of trav­el­ling around the world and work­ing from wher­ever you can find a Wi-Fi con­nec­tion looks like many In­sta­gram feeds – a high­lights reel of only the good things in life. Co­conuts on the beach, busi­ness-class up­grades and a life spent wear­ing noth­ing but floaty caf­tans and wide-brimmed floppy hats.

Turns out it’s not quite all it’s cracked up to be (cue my ‘I-knew-it!’ cackle). There’s still some­thing at­trac­tive about the idea of dig­i­tal no­mads – the peo­ple who can work any­where as long as they find an em­ployer will­ing to send them jobs doable from a lap­top.

Then I start think­ing about what it re­ally means, not only in terms of ca­reer ad­vance­ment but also miss­ing wa­ter­cooler in­ter­ac­tion with col­leagues, and not hav­ing a place to keep my desk toys.

One of the no­mads shared pic­tures with us that show her look­ing at a lap­top while perched on a cute row­ing boat on a lazy trop­i­cal river. Looks like a dream des­ti­na­tion, but she was look­ing at email. I have a hard enough time not get­ting dis­tracted by food videos at work – I’d be a dis­as­ter try­ing to get any­thing done in the jun­gle or on the side of a moun­tain.

That also seems like not only a waste of be­ing in a re­ally cool place, but also risky con­sid­er­ing your only con­nec­tion to gain­ful em­ploy­ment is your lap­top, and it’s sus­pended over wa­ter.

Well, we as­sume it was email – the lap­top could have been turned off and the whole thing care­fully crafted for a photo-op. But no mod­ern hu­man would do some­thing like that on so­cial me­dia, would they? Would they?

Any­one who lives in the UAE prob­a­bly al­ready knows the an­swer to that one.

On a side note, let’s please not give that so­cial me­dia photo that dom­i­nated lo­cal and global news this past week any more me­dia space than it de­serves.

There was not one thing about it that can be called any­thing other than reck­less – made even worse by the model’s off-the-cuff re­sponse that she should be thanked for high­light­ing a lack of se­cu­rity.

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