The idea of busyness is being reinvented, a ‘new busy’ for a new generation, so writes John Naish in last Saturday’s edition of The Times:
The launch of Microsoft’s latest global ad campaign for brazenly rebrands the modern, harried life. Firing off e-mails in your leisure time isn’t a sign of a stressed lifestyle. This sort of multitasking is, according to Microsoft’s wisdom, “The New Busy”.’We are redefining busy because we know that having a full calendar means having a full life,” states the company blurb for Windows Live Hotmail. “It’s about people who lead big, busy lives and love every minute of it. The ‘new busy’ make beavers look lazy. When you can take your desk with you, the world is your workspace.” Perpetual busyness is becoming a badge of pride.Our cultural icons are no longer the leisured rich, but the super-active. Madonna’s public life is an ever-shifting carnival of new hobbies, from extreme aerobics to knitting to kabbalah.Even relaxation has become hardcore, with the rise of hot yoga and one-minute meditation classes.But do we really need to mourn the death of leisure? According to the experts, there is much to suggest that whirling busyness can benefit our health and morale.Being busy is becoming our comfort mode, Rachel Lawes, a London-based futurologist, suggests. “People are moving from ‘sitting back’ activities to ones that are ‘sitting forwards’,” she says. “People think that they have got something worthwhile to do and worthwhile to say.”
Read the full article at the TimesOnline website here.