Sherry Turkle, a professor at MIT, has written a book about how technology is impacting our social lives called Alone Together. According to an interview with silicon.com, Turkle is concerned that the blurring of the boundary between work and private life, and the always-on culture, are making us devalue human relationships.
It's a four page article. You might want to start with page 4, where Turkle predicts that people will start to disengage from technologies like email and messaging, and re-devote themselves to reality. For one thing, "you really can't hold a job down if you can't talk," so young people will have to unplug and brush up their social skills.
In other words: New technology comes along and habits change. Commentators extrapolate the dire consequences that will follow if everyone emulates the most enthusiastic users. Said technology gradually becomes domesticated. Life moves on. People continue to eat, sleep, laugh and love.
I've noticed a trend toward dumbphones. For every CrackBerry addict on the train there are four people reading books. People who take calls or check their text messages while talking with others are generally regarded as weird and/or self-important. The spurious glamour that was briefly associated with being busy is wearing off. Authenticity never goes out of fashion.
I don't want to be over-critical, because I haven't read the book. But if technology at work has made us so efficient and machine-like that it's spilling over into our personal lives, how come "you really can't hold a job down if you can't talk"? That would suggest that despite the growing role of technology in the workplace, it hasn't come anywhere near replacing human activity, and Turkle doesn't expect it to.
My experience is that the relationship between work and personal life is a two-way street - but that most of the traffic runs from personal to work. You take your personality to work, and I suggest that even if you have family meetings, you don't take minutes. The technologies Turkle focuses on serve unstructured communications: email and SMS are conversations conducted by text. They don't replace conversations.