WK 5 Reading – Media 6

Judy Wajcman writes a piece relating to the idea of lost time. I am constantly relating with idea of time escaping us, not enough hours in a day to finish what we set out to do, life can be so fast-paced, and if you stop you will get left behind. This reading illustrates ways of slow and fast time and what that means within our technologically driven society.

It suggests that computerisation, telecommunications and transport has been linked to the growing sense of time pressure, and life seems to be so much more rushed. All you have to do is stand on the corner of La Trobe street and Swanston street and you will be in the middle of a technological stampede. People walking, running, shoving, all in a hurry to be somewhere but never looking up from their phones to get from point A to point B. “We live in an acceleration society in which technological acceleration produces an ever-faster pace of life”.

As we all ponder the ways of time (how can we manage it, how can we make it stop, how can we have more of it), the reading suggests that the key to understanding this complex relationship between technology and time is the concept of temporal sovereignty – and this gives us the ability to allocate your own time. You would think that maybe you just have to turn your phones off, or put away your laptop for the night, however Wajcman states that instead of going on this digital detox diet to actually embrace “the emancipatory potential of technoscience to create new meanings and new worlds, while at the same time being its chief critic”.

This digital age provides society to rethink the standardised terms of the ideal work-life balance, with the relationship between “technological change and temporality is always dialectical: the simultaneous production of fast time spaces with those of remarkable slowness”. It suggests that their is a disjunction between the cultural allure of speed, and our experiences of always feeling rushed. Technology is suggested to be aided society in a way that progress us into the future of the digital age, and it is not actually out to defeat us. I am not sure what side of the fence I am on with this.

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