We need to de-alienate time: reconnect clock time to its sources and recognise its created machine character. As such, concern with the multiple time dimensions of our lives is no more than theoretical, academic exercise; rather, it is a strategy for living.
–Barbara Adam, Timewatch: The social analysis of time
This week’s reading focuses on two key aspects: the issue of reducing work hours in favour of leisure time, and whether we can alter the texture and tempo of life and what role does technology play into this.
Judy Wajcman, in the article Finding time in the Digital Age, mentions that “the experience of time pressure, or harriedness, then, is not simply a function of machine speed.” In the culture of the Digital age, so many people are more pressured to always be on the go – always having to check the time on their smart phones or mobile apps, having to always be on the move from A to B, having to stay up late to connect with other people from vast distances. While technology has been a positive in connecting people together, and enabling users to enhance the way they live their lives, the downside to it is time management – not in the “I don’t have time to do things” kind of management, but in the more “I have to strategically plan out my day for all the things I have to do” kind of management.
Wajcman makes a point that “contesting the contemporary time culture, then, cannot be thought outside of and separately from technological developments and vice versa.” She says that due to the built-in timeworks in some of these material things, there is an increase in technical speed that provokes new slowed timescapes.
Reformulating Working Time
Smartphone application enables you to track exactly what you do with every minute of the day. According to Wajcman, there are apps like this, who’s belief lies on the “virtues of acceleration…it reduces all time to a standard metric.” Wajcman also notes that we should be using our time to be productive – but this productivity and use is dependent on the temporal parameters of our workflow.