Week 5: Finding Time in a Digital Age – Judy Wajcman

Judy Wajcman’s chapter is very much interested in how we can make more of our time. She describes our ability to choose how we spend our time as one of the ‘positive notions’ of many ideas of freedom. Wajcman essentially asks that with the accelerated nature of modern life, is a faster life really a better life? Part of this faster lifestyle is the increase in technological developments, but Wajcman is very quick to contend that technology is not solely responsible, as ‘devices reflect, as much as shape, the society in which we live’. Furthering the discussion of technology and its relationship to time, she explores how it can reconfigure time, and how that can lead to the possibility of making more time.

Wajcman then introduces her two broad topics through which she will expire the idea of making more time. Both of these ‘shift away from how digital devices colonise our time’ as she focuses more on how time is valued and allocated by people. The first topic is work hours based, as she wonders whether they can be reduced in favour of leisure time, while also acknowledging how technology can result in the boundaries between work and home life wing blurred. The second topic is more focused on the tempo of life, and how it might be altered through the use of technology.

One thing that this reading has done for me is strengthen the idea and value of leisure for its own sake, and potentially made me feel less guilty for wanting such leisure. I certainly don’t feel that it solved my problems of time management and the stress that surrounds it, but it at least provided some interesting thoughts around the issue – thoughts that I feel could affect the way I think about work vs. leisure in the future.

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