‘What is …?’ is the most frequently asked opener typed into Google search and every year the internet giant publishes the most popular.
‘What is love?’ topped the list for 2012, apparently puzzling most British searchers over a sustained period.
It was followed by what is iCloud, what is 3G and what is Scientology? Top trending people were Whitney Houston (who passed away in February), the Duchess of Cambridge and Gary Barlow.
New definitions of bed
The question of love produces thousands of answers ranging from God’s unconditional love to sex that is available, with every nuance in between. But another interesting statistic shows how love and relationships are changing. People often say they are too tired for sex, life today being as intense as it is.
Now comes news that more couples take their work to bed, quite literally. We don’t just mean people who are bed-bound through illness or accident for months at a time, but everyday, fit working people.
Companies are selling special cushions and special folding trays. Two US bed makers are cashing in on this latest habit. Kluft & Co have created a 7ft square bed which splits, allowing couples to spread papers about while sitting up and working. Reverie sell a bed with built in wi-fi and power sockets for laptops and tablets.
One company advertises with the catchphrase: ‘a gathering place, a workplace, a comfort zone for a couple….’ Nothing about getting a good night’s sleep ready to face another day of working or job seeking.
Forget TVs in bedrooms. People, mainly in the 25 – 35 age range, are apparently using their beds as the places to check emails, make calls, leave messages, log on to social media, read their e-readers and all either before getting up or before finally putting the lights out.
The survey, from Infosecurity Europe, discovered 35% of people take work to bed, some for more than two hours work and 10% of couples admit to both partners working in the sheets.
Relationship advisers and medical experts are not enthusiastic. People who find it hard to sleep should not be keeping the brain active on a screen. Less time together as couples is harmful to sharing the days’ news and preparing for the next one, together.
Finally, in a bed, the human body is not best placed to work the same as if sitting at a desk. Ergonomists argue that posture is all wrong leaning back against the headboard. Nearly half a million instances of musculoskeletal disorders lost 7.5 working days in Britain last year alone.
Voice activated systems will help, and so will using hospital-style trays, taking proper breaks and ensuring the laptop on a bed doesn’t catch fire through overheating! But the fact is that the best medical and psychological advice is : DON”T WORK IN BED!!!
Also worth checking, before you fall asleep:
Greatist, Laura Schwecheri, Is It OK to Work in Bed?, January 2012
ABA Journal, Debra Cassens Weiss, Products Aim to Make Working in Bed More Comfortable, 15 November 2012
Could Computer Over-Reliance Be the Death of Us All? 30 July 2012
A Hard Day at the Office, 24 April 2012
Email Hoarding Is New Psychological Condition, 17 April 2012
Digital Addictions Hook More People, 16 February 2012
How the Google Effect Reprogrammed Our World, 22 November 2011
Image: Oxfordian Kissuth