Two Hour Blogger

On Marketing and Writing

How the Virtual “Work from Home” Ideology Is Destroying American Culture

image of a headless computer dudeBefore the Internet, you had to be nice to people in order to make a living. You had to show up for work. Once you showed up, you had to work eight hours with other humans without getting fired.

But an Internet generation has learned how to get rich without being civil. Let me give you an example. At Blog World 2011, I met an entrepreneur who built a very lucrative Internet-based business. Yet he was easily one of the rudest people I’ve ever met. “If you worked at McDonald’s, you’d get fired before your second day,” I said. “Of course I would!” he said, nose tilted high. “But I’ve escaped that jungle and created my own world.” He was proud he could be rude to anyone he pleased and still make a comfortable living with his home-based business.

I don’t have to tell you this is plain wrong. It makes me mad just thinking about it. These guys sit behind their computers creating software and solving real world problems, write flawless landing pages that state all the shiny benefits of their one-stop solutions, and go to bed with the cash registers ringing in their ears. Then they take their money and buy all kinds of crazy stuff, and repeat the cycle without ever worrying about how other people feel. Since they don’t know what it’s like to work in a real business environment, they forget that the rest of the world doesn’t operate this way. In the REAL world, your success largely depends on getting along with people.

The Internet has simulated a fake world, one in which you can create your own rules and potentially build moneymaking machines. It’s not natural and it’s not healthy. It sounds good on the surface but it’s utterly destructive to social competency, ethics, responsibility, and morality.

The Internet is stripping away America’s humanity. It’s turning people into antisocial passive-aggressive maniacs. If all electronics were confiscated for six months, it would do America a HUGE favor. People wouldn’t be able to hide behind their laptops and phones. They would be forced to rediscover the adrenaline rush of working with other humans in the same room, and they’d have to learn how to get along with them.

The demographic that bothers me the most is the 20-year-old white male. He doesn’t know how to work. He doesn’t know how to talk. He doesn’t even know how to make eye contact. Oh yes, he can type 70 words per minute. He can text behind the professor’s back in class. He can party all-hours behind a gaming system.

But put him in front of a human being? He’s lost.

My advice: keep your day job, find one, or create one. If it doesn’t include a physical location, GET ONE. If it doesn’t include humans, FIND SOME. If it must include computers, CONTROL THEM.

And whatever you do, be polite about it. Please.

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70 Replies

  1. I so love that you spoke up on this topic. I’ve been thinking about this, myself, since I joined facebook 2 years ago. I hesitated to join, simply because I didn’t want to be like my friends, attached to their phone 24/7, checking fb for new information while there is a live person sitting right in front of them. I hate it. That in itself is not polite, imho.

    And while I think it’s great that you can make money online – I agree, there’s not much humanity to it, there’s no real connections, until you pick up the phone and invite someone to lunch. I hope our youth isn’t destined to be “anti-social passive aggressive maniacs”… at least I’m old enough to remember when there wasn’t online social networks, and haven’t forgotten how to interact graciously in person.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      I’m almost getting to the point where I don’t recommend trying to make a living from a blog. Social media is too anti-social. 😀

  2. Wow. Those are some strong words!

    There is a reason why the wise encourage “living” life, and too much of anything is bound to create a void somewhere else. The computer-only guys may make a killing but their (increasing) lack of social skills will eventually show up offline.

    Business success does not equate personal success. And a computer does NOT a life companion make. And every business is (ultimately) about people. There’ll be some rude awakenings for those 20-somethings down the road.

    I love my tech gadgets, and giving them up for a few months would be tough. But giving up my humans (like my family and friends)? Don’t even want to think about it.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      The computer-only guys may make a killing but their (increasing) lack of social skills will eventually show up offline.

      I wholeheartedly agree! It’s already showing up in some instances.

  3. Matthew

    Martyn, have you read ‘Alone Together’ by Sherry Turkle? The second half of the book looks at a lot of these issues – it’s a fascinating read.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Interesting Matthew. Maybe in between college and web development I can take a look at this. It sounds fascinating.

  4. Hi Martyn, I too have been thinking about how computers can limit the real social contact. Living in suburbs vs big city does similar thing. Living in US vs in Europe has similar effect. But being exposed to abuse by your boss at physical work and working for somebody else is no fun either. There is a lot to talk about. The issue is not as simple as telling people to get a job away from home. Good post;)

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Excellent point, Derek. I’m looking at this from a different viewpoint since I’ve never actually worked in a cubicle. Regardless of your work environment, getting along with people is 80% of the skill set.

      If you have a truly abusive boss … perhaps it’s time to find a new one! 😉

      1. I agree on getting along with people. That is a super-valuable skill to have.

  5. I don’t deny that there appears to be a generation sans social skills, who grew up very differently than us old farts. But I think you’re making a very blanket statement that working from home = bad. Chances are, many of these people still would have been rude such-and-suches. Or worse, would never get the chance to harness their brilliance while working for The Man, and simply become Yet Another Worker Cog, never living up to their potential. Getting a job outside the home isn’t the answer. Being involved in life beyond their computers and smart phones and iPads IS.

    My husband and I have been working from home for over a decade. He has a weird sleeping schedule that always threatened his employment status, and he has social anxiety. But because we have a home-based business, he can work at his most productive hours, we both get to be involved in our children’s lives much more deeply, and we can actually have a career about which we’re passionate on our own terms. Is it lonely? Oh, hell yes. There are days I seriously consider getting a job a Starbucks just to get out of the house. But working from home doesn’t mean I have no social skills. And I dare say, social media has actually been my salvation, a way to go to the “water cooler” midday, interact with friends, and refresh the spirit before getting back to the slog. Filling the “vacuum” makes all the difference.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      If you can make working from home feasible, go for it. It’s not for everyone.

      Is it lonely? Oh, hell yes.

      That’s enough to scare me away. Ouch.

      1. That’s why there’s a growing co-working movement. Entrepreneurs who work from wi-fil hotspots. One need not be lonely. Now that my children are in school, I’m personally less lonely because I’m less tied to having to be physically *here*. But there’s a freedom that is unrivaled in the web-work experience. No, it’s not for everybody. But then, what is?

        1. wi-fi, not fil. Pardon my proofreading, lol!

        2. Martyn Chamberlin

          I hear people like Darren Rowse like to do this. They go to coffee shops and malls, soak in the white noise, and crank out epic work. (Hey! I’m at a university library at the moment, so I’m guilty as well.)

          You’re not ANYTHING like the people I’m complaining about here, Amie. Keep rocking.

  6. Solid points here Marty. People skills are more important than the internet. Those same self appointed technical geniuses may actually end up snubbed in the end any way for a couple reasons and scenarios:

    1) The products gets sold so much they have to have a technical support section on their website which requires technical support. Now when they interact with humans people may not be too impressed with their lack of people skills.

    2) A real company asks them to develop a solution for them, which requires an actual meeting. Epic Fail…

    3) they get famous and invited to actually talk at a function… another epic fail.

    People skills are always crucial with or with out the internet.

  7. sorry typed too fast, a couple of typos :(

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Typos? I don’t see any! That tells you what kind of a speller I am.

      You’ve brought up some great points. People skills are DEFINITELY important.

  8. Ironically, I wrote about internet jerks today as well.
    Great thoughts though, we cannot replace people in our lives! In the end, a computer can never offer you true companionship, and ultimately these people will end up feeling very alone.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      It’s sad, really. I feel sorry for these “successful” rude people.

  9. Cami

    So that explains why strolling down Montana Ave in Santa Monica, CA last night no one knew how to give way on the sidewalk. Those were people of all ages though. Every time my friend and I had to step aside. Not one group knew that you are suppose turn into a single file when approaching another group who’s turned into a single file. We should not have had to step off the curb so we wouldn’t get run over. Of course, they drive that way here too! In NY, Chicago, Seattle, Paris , London you name it, people know this. What is wrong with LA maybe too many bloggers with entitlement issues.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Every civilization has had its share of rude people, Cami. Your Montana Ave incident would have happened pre-1980s.

      The problem with the Internet is that it’s accelerating the social ineptness.

  10. I love that you’re learning how to be a human being, Martyn.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Not sure if I’m supposed to take that sarcastically or genuinely. Perhaps both?

      1. Totally genuine. Technology can be dehumanizing. If it’s your whole life, you can end up without much of a personality — without much humanity.

        It’s our flaws and failures that make us human. And in a digital landscape where we obsess over creating and perfecting things, we can miss the beauty of imperfection.

        It reminds me of a story I once heard about the Amish women making quilts and intentionally throwing in a few errors that only they can see in the stitching — just remind them that they’re human.

        BTW, see my em dashes? 😉

        1. Martyn Chamberlin

          Yes — I see them. 😀

  11. Great post, and neatly said. You can of course be human and connect on the internet but face-to-face adds body language, one we all speak and respond to even when we aren’t aware of it. No substitute for human contact. We need more empathy, not less. Good work.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      I read somewhere that text only accounts for 8% of communication. Body language and voice intonation are SO huge.

  12. “The Internet is stripping away America’s humanity. It’s turning people into antisocial passive-aggressive maniacs.”

    So bold and so true. Reminds me of a convo I had with my old boss the other day. I did freelance writing and editing for her a couple of years ago before I found a full time position elsewhere. I was telling her about my dream to be a freelance writer and work from home. To my surprise, she told me I needed to be patient and keep myself in a corporate setting for a few more years. But when I asked her why, it totally made sense. She said that because of the internet and the opportunity it has given so many to “be their own boss,” we have devalued that experience of learning under someone and “playing with others” so to speak. We have devalued the coworking experience and having accountability to a higher authority. Her point was that if I pull myself out of that environment too quickly, it will devalue my work as a freelancer because I won’t have as much field experience as other seasoned professionals in the business. I think that most 20-somethings have the skills to work from home, but lack the discipline and maturity to do so. Working with others is the only way to round ourselves out in that respect.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      You’ve hit the nail, Bethany. That’s solid gold – says it better than I did! Thanks.

  13. I love my day job so much that I probably wouldn’t quit, even if I won the lottery. My coworkers are so great that it makes going to work fun. People and relationships give life meaning, not ones and zeros.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Day jobs are seriously underrated.

  14. Hi,
    You mention that the internet is stripping away our humaity…not everyone’s. You give one example…I used to have a blog about kick porn addiction. I used to say the same thing. Then I gave it up because it was making me jaded and it’s all I focused on.

    Since I’ve met the most wonderful people all over the world through the internet. It’s kind of looking at the glass half empty or half full. Which ever we focus on expands.

    I agree with your example however it’s not only twenty year olds. There are people in all age groups that are doing what this one guy did. Just sayin!

  15. It’s interesting, I was writing something similar on my blog just a week ago, in my post “Internet Marketing or Idiotic Marketing?”. Funnily enough, I don’t have any reader as I don’t “market” myself at all; I don’t offer easy money plans for people who want to get rich quick, I don’t present myself as an omniscient lifestyle guru, or as a seasoned professional blogger. Sometimes people stumble upon my posts, they read a few seconds and, rarely, they leave a comment (one comment a year so far, which makes moderation much easier).

    On the other hand, I have great “offline skills”, and I can DO things, CREATE things and, ultimately, HELP people regardless the possibility of making a profit out of it. I can deal with real people, interact with them, manage them, make them happy, or make them cry. I have feelings and I can communicate by looking to people in their eyes (no surprise I met my wife in a REAL environment, we didn’t chat or text), and this big “social media” bubble is going to burst soon.

    The only use I had of Facebook so far has been to get in touch with some dear army comrades I haven’t seen for 17 years, but, as soon as I established the first contact, I exchanged phone numbers and FB has been forgotten.

    My suggestion to all Internet addicts is to try growing something with their own hands, out of a tiny seed. No Internet, no bragging about it, no writing on Twitter. Do it yourself, share it with your family, friends (if you have any, which sometimes I doubt) and even neighbours. Smaller circles, true and honest feelings!

    One “grammar nazi” note: “he don’t” is incorrect. It’s sometimes used on street talk, but it’s certainly wrong in written form. Ironically, reading “he don’t know how to talk” made me think “but should know how to write” LOL! Nothing personal, I really like your blog. :)

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      You’ve brought up some GREAT points here Diego. Thanks for catching the grammer slip! I changed the pronoun without changing the verb. Oh, for better proofreading!

  16. Hey Martyn,

    I know EXACTLY what you mean with your article.

    Coming from the IT world, having past experience on IT jobs and now studying about how this Internet Marketing ‘thing’ works, I understand you perfectly man.

    I see (on social media platforms) a lot of these new young marketing riches complaining (in the most rude way possible) about how companies can’t satisfy their requirements as they need them to.

    Sooner or later, this will come back at them, you can’t possibly win forever with an attitude like that.


    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      I know! It’s like, “okay people. If you knew what it’s like to run a REAL business, you’d understand why they’re sometimes running late and sometimes out of stock.” There’s a huge disconnect between the online distribution model and brick-and-mortar businesses, and it gets my blood boiling.

      Glad you’re in the tribe, Sergio. 😉

  17. Great post Martyn. You’re right, the online world is full of extremely rude people… But, guess what? So is the real world. You look around every day and see the same kind of thing. People just flat-out being rude to others.

    So in my mind, it’s a “human” issue more than just an “online” issue. People who have trouble getting along with others either have troubles of the heart (core, deep seeded issues) or they simply lack the skills to communicate. Either way, they are definitely no fun to run into… :-)

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Agreed. They’re definitely rude no matter what! And the Internet makes it possible for them to make dough without curtailing their rudeness. Alas.

      Thanks for being a polite, wonderful client.

  18. I get what you’re saying here, Martyn. But living in a cubicle, although still expose to people around you, is still no way to LIVE. I guess it depends on your situation. I have two kids which inherently keep me social. I hate my cubicle job and cant wait to get out!

    Maybe someone ought to create a blog for home based business on how to stay social and not turn into a hermit crab.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Yes Tony, someone should TOTALLY create that blog!

      What are you going to replace your cubicle income with?

      1. I have no intention to steal the blog idea, but I currently started a business venture (with a REAL person, met face to face) and I’m mainly working from home so that I can take care of my lovely baby girl. I must say that, in such setting, socializing is quite hard, and I’m still looking for a “method” that works.

        One important point is that I’m on my own during the day, minding my baby, as my wife is back to full time work, and babies don’t know schedules. This means I can plan very little, yet I have to get things done. Besides, being a dad, I have less choices than a mother for daytime activities; women go out together for a tea, a coffee, a walk, a chat, but they don’t invite men. Not that I wouldn’t be able to make the time enjoyable, it’s just that “society runs like that”.

        I’ll probably write about it on my blog, maybe someone will find it interesting. :)

        1. Cool! Glad I was able to inspire an idea. Hopefully it spreads and we see a “social hermit crab” blog soon. I’d do it but I literally have no experience working from home.

          Enjoy your baby, Diego.

      2. Nothing! Just kidding. I’m working with Jonathan Mead on the whole replacement income thing. I’m actually going to do something a little crazy. I’m going to quit my job to dedicate my full time to starting a business online. Ive found my job to be a real source of misery for me, and it stifles my creativity and potential.

        Its a big risk but it ought to be rewarding. Plus, I’ve never done anything.terribly risky and you only live once.

        1. Martyn Chamberlin

          Wow interesting. I would never recommend doing this – it scares me but it’s also exciting. Be sure to weigh back in in a couple of months – I want to hear how you turn out!

          1. Lol. Will do, Martyn. Scares me too but it’s better than not trying. I’m not quitting for another seven weeks or so, so I’ll check back two months after that.

            Talk soon.

  19. I don’t know that I’d go as far as you (though I also speculate I have met much fewer of these guys than you), but I definitely agree that there is great value in working in an office at least for a few years. My fantasy has always been to freelance from home, but if I’d done something like that from the beginning and not spent the last five years in offices, I’m not sure I’d be able to operate as a freelancer in a way that made me a good business partner. It’s critical to understand those office relationships and other dynamics!

    But I’ll say this too—based on my personal experiences, the individuals in this group that I see become the most successful are full of love for their community, and put a lot of energy into building those positive relationships. No matter how big the monitor you hide behind, people tend to be pretty good at picking up the vibes you’re sending out, and they react accordingly.

  20. I’m glad you brought the subject up for discussion. There are definitely some rude people out there, and there seems to be a generation (or two) who are severely lacking in a number of social and moral behaviors that used to be the norm in America.

    However, I don’t think it’s the virtual “work from home” ideology that is the problem.

    There will always be rude and selfish human beings. It’s “human nature”. Some environments accept and even encourage those aspects of our nature more than others, and current-day America with its emphasis on “the pursuit of happiness” and instant gratification is pretty bad. Perhaps the work-from-home Internet marketing culture attracts those who can’t cut it (or don’t want to) working with other people day to day.

    But there are a LOT of really nice, polite, loving people who are out there blogging and doing business online. So I doubt that we need to blame or attack the work-from-home culture. Back in the “old days”, people worked from home (aka the farm) all the time. They saw their family members more than anyone else, and only went into town once or twice a week for supplies or church. In some cases, this led to social awkwardness or rudeness, but it didn’t have to.

    I totally disagree that this issue is a reason to advise people to keep their day jobs. The fault is not the home job environment. It’s the fault of the guy who chooses the path of rude selfishness. And he’ll do it wherever he can get away with it. If we made it harder on him in the online community to maintain that sort of behavior, he wouldn’t succeed here either.

    I agree with several of the other commenters that the key is to be aware of the tendency for working at home to create an anti-social lifestyle and to pro-actively fight it. Discipline yourself. Break the addiction to your smartphone and social media. Make sure you have weekly interactions with real humans in person. Throughout the week, have coffee with someone, have friends over for dinner, go to church, join a book club or writer’s critique group, etc.

  21. Hey Martyn,

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post. I agree that a lot of people in your generation are missing out on developing the skill of talking to people face to fact due to the fact that they’re behind a screen for hours at a time. It’s dangerous and something that needs to be guarded against. For every minute behind a screen, kids and others should spend two minutes in front of other people (a totally made up number, of course, for illustration purposes only). I’ve noticed that some young people in their late teens and early twenties have a really difficult time holding a conversation. That’s a bad trend and something to watch out for.

    Thanks again for a thought provoking post. Keep up the awesome work. I can’t wait to get together again in person. :)

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      I’m a firm believer in being good at holding conversations. Looking forward to practicing with you some more. 😉

      1. I was “practicing” with Andrew yesterday over lunch. As you probably remember, he always has a serious hold on every discussion he gets involved in. :)

        1. Martyn Chamberlin

          Andrew is AWESOME. We’ve got to have him over for supper again. Between him and Jeff Goins we could have a real party.

  22. William Burnett

    I am sure that the previous generation saw the end of society when the TV became a fixture in the American home as did the generation before them when the automobile changed the social mores of that era.
    Change is difficult and not always welcomed.
    There is a reason people shake hands. It originated as a way of showing you had no weapons and meant no harm. Most rude people are ill prepared to defend their actions. They believe the current social mores will insulate them from retaliation. Sooner or later they are proven wrong. Your dilemma is that you did not choose to realign his perspective and will probably not be aware of that event when it happens.
    Take comfort in the probability your nemesis is only a power outage away from some agonizing reappraisal.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Wow, them’s some fancy words, William! I had to do some googling to even figure out what you were talking about in that last sentence. :-)

      I suppose I should have pursued the conversation with that fellow at Blog World, but knowing that individual he’s beyond hope. Lol.

  23. I truly believe that everyone should pursue their true passion in their work, I wrote a book about it and have a website dedicated to it. What’s right for each of us is very different and very specific. Using what you said about the internet can also be said of any job. What about someone who runs a store because a relative owns it? The internet has done as much to warm us as TV has, showing us unrealistic, fantasy lives that people everyday try and copy. Just like with anything in life you have to take the good with the bad, the internet has made the world a smaller place, helping us to reach out to people I would have never been able to, just the other day I tweeted with Chris Guillebeau, that would have never happened in the past. because of the internet I didn’t have to send my book to publisher so they can reject it or take a year to publish it, I wrote my second book in a month and it will be out in two months, and I can do it all on my own because of the internet.

  24. Odds are these characters were probably this way before they got into the computer business. The internet may be big but it’s not that big. Somewhere the word will get out about these individuals. Like they say Karma is a… , when it bites back watch out.

    There is no excuse for treating someone rudely or for not behaving in a civilized manner towards others. These people still have to get out and network in person too.

  25. Thanks for addressing this topic. I have to agree. I also think that some of these general life skills need to be taught and reinforced as we raise our kids. Relationships and interpersonal communication – the real deal – are the most important things. Good post.

  26. Too true my friend, too true!

    I think most facets of technology that enable us to increase our distance from one another depersonalizes human interaction.

    Many so-called technological advances allow for significant physical and emotional distance. And when people are disconnected from one another, the impact of poor behavior becomes less obvious. Quite often, people are able to behave like complete jackals with impunity hiding behind the total anonymity made possible by the internet – and eventually these people start thinking it OK to to lead their lives in this fashion, ala the person you met at BlogWorld.

    People generally respect an individual who works hard and archives financial success. But if you learn more about this seeming successful individual and discover he’s not a good person – your respect disappears.

    Consider Bill Gates. When he faced congress in response to anti-trust charges leveled against Microsoft, he appeared disheveled, disconnected and aloof. His inability to answer many basic question about the nature of his company’s dealings made him appear to be a total cad. In the end, it took the creation of the most financial solvent charitable foundation in the history of the world to improve Bill Gates image.

    Common courtesy is one of those basic traits the separates a civilized society for total chaos – and being rude demonstrates a complete lack of courtesy.

  27. Oh how true. Rudeness abounds both on- and offline, but it seems that online rudeness (imho) carries ‘less care and more callous’ than having to look someone in the eye while you’re doing it. Having personally stomped the corporate corridors for twenty years, I know that they carried their own code of conduct (some of which was distasteful as well), but at least in the majority of cases ethics and conscience played a hand in the card game. And at the end of the day courtesy should always be a given, not an extra.

  28. Hi Martyn,
    Very much thought provoking post.

    Your post inspired me to post a short poem written by me sometime back. Here it is,,,

    A lost soul

    Man created machines for his own use

    In turn, machines turned him of no use

    Discoveries take place every new morning

    Who cares about nature’s warning?

    Natural things have come to a standstill

    Everyone thinks now digital

    Man calls himself as independent

    In real, he is now machine dependent

    In the forest of machines…

    On a gifted planet called earth

    A search has begun

    For a soul called human

  29. Thanks for this.

    My other job(s) requires me to have excellent communication and I suppose charm skills. I do part time survey work knocking on peoples door asking them to do a 40 minute survey with me. I also spend a lot of my time listening to people who are struggling with various forms of Mental Illness and helping them recover.

    In both vocations I have learnt one very important rule. They have given you the gift of their time therefore treat that gift with the utmost respect.
    I have transferred this hopefully over to my blogging. Someone comes knocking at my blogs door. How long they stay and enjoy my company will be over to the experience they have. Will they like the content, will they come back for more, will they bring their friends!

    Treat others with respect is a golden rule, and as a good friend tells me ‘He who has the gold makes the rules’

  30. Melissa

    I agree with you for the most part but you completely have chosen to not discuss one of the fundamental reasons why many (woman) enjoy the flexibility to work from home.  It’s simple. I get to have a career AND put my kids on and off the school bus. The school schedule does not conform too well to the corporate 9-5. I enjoy very much to don my corporate attire and head into the office. I agree that working with people, around people, often in a team setting is incredibly important. However, as a woman and as a mother I have made the conscious choice to request for and receive the flexibility to work from home a few days a week. I would be remiss to not point out that this choice comes at a (professional) price.
     The social aspect that you describe allows for networking and a sense of teaming hard to find while typing away emails sitting at the kitchen table. I write this to point out to some that the choice to be home is often made at the sacrifice of self but to the benefit of family.
    Thank you,
    author of 

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      You’ve brought up some good points, Melissa. I admire your sacrifice. Guess I’m just not thinking in those terms … yet. :-)

  31. Dude, that was great. I’ve recently started turning my blog into a business and I’ve been thinking along the same line.. That’s why I’ve made it a rule that between 3pm and 5pm I get out of the house each day and go socialise and spend time with people..

    When I get back, I’m also so energized.. social interaction has magic in it!

  32. Hi Martyn

    Enjoyed reading this post. You make a good point but this guy would be a jerk whether he hid behind a computer or worked in an office. And if he worked in an office he’d probably make life hell for everyone else working there.

    But the great thing for most people about social networking is you can be exposed to so many different ways of thinking than you can stuck in an office.

    You can also find people all over the world that have the same interest as you and in this way be a force for good. I run a charity for example and have found Twitter a fantastic place to network and make useful contacts with people I would never previously known existed.

    That said people do need to make sure they get out and have face to face contact with others.

    Great blog and very thought provoking – glad I found you – and will connect on Twitter :-)

  33. I agree that the attitudes you have pointed out do exist in the modern age. However, I am very curious: how have you established such a firm stance against what, ultimately, provides you with a source of income?


  34. Nice post, Martyn. I’d like to work from home, have a real business, AND be a good person. I wonder if that’s too much to ask though. Thanks for this.

    1. Martyn Chamberlin

      Well, with the price of gas I have to admit there’s something to what you say! This commute to college is about to make me broke. Good luck with this Joe.

  35. Hello Martyn:

    I have had a similar conversations quite a bit the last few years. Rudeness appears to be growing the past few years, to almost acceptable levels. Unfortunately the coldness of technology is a contributory factor. In my world when I encounter a nasty SOB, I go out of my way to let them know and find another person to do business with even if it cost more.
    I believe if more customers took this approach, these crude and nasty folks would find some manners or eventially be out of business.

  36. I’m a home-based worker, but to me the ability to communicate properly is what helps me to succed. If I can’t convey myself properly in a written message or virtual conversation, I lose out. Although I enjoyed reading this post, I have to say that the example you’ve used will be rude in whatever role he had, whether he primarily worked behind a PC monitor or was in a customer-facing one.

  37. The working from home concept is what makes America great. Americans are innovative, hard-working, and are striving to build the next great thing. That being said, I truly believe that working from home isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Plenty of people, myself included, have built great businesses from a home office or apartment. While we have since moved into an office, we still enjoy the luxury of the occasional work from home day as a reward for our hard work and long hours during the week.