This week’s reading, ‘Finding Time in a Digital Age’ (Wajcman, 2015) is about our current perceptions of time and technology. During the 20th century, the average time humans spent at work was decreasing, until it came to a standstill in the later half of the century at the democratized and standardized 8 hour days, 5 days a week. But, for some people, the amount they are working is more than ever before, and this text examines various academic texts that have discussed this shift in relation to the development of technology.
What I found most interesting about this article is the inclusion and the importance to the writer of discussing who is being left out of academic conversations about time, work and technology. For example, the discussions on the average work hours of a population fail to note the growing disparity between the work rich/time poor and the unemployed. So although there are people working long hours that include unpaid time working at home, thanks to the mobility and flexibility that technology brings, there are also more people who are unemployed and are being demonized for the way they spend their time. The chapter also discusses the often looked-over gender dynamics of time and work, such as the different patterns of employment between the genders, the inequitable unpaid domestic work and the intensified expectations of parenting. Wajcman ties it all together by explaining our hierarchical time culture, where status and pay measure the value of a person’s time, and that this is the real issue that should be discussed. We should be working on everybody’s time being valued equally. I really agree with Wajcman’s socially conscientious stance.
Finally, this point that Wajcman makes is very relevant to media and the work that a lot of us in the course want to do: ‘Technology consumes time through its rapid cycle of renewal, requiring an ongoing investment in skill acquisition”. The thing that I find the most difficult about media and the media course is keeping up with all the different technologies that I have to master. At first, I wanted to be good at everything; cameras, sound, editing, producing, but I know now that I am not that kind of person. There are people that can do all those things and do them well, but I don’t have the time or the attention to be able to keep up with all the camera technology and editing software. Over the past year and a half, I have gone down a path where I have focused my attention and abilities on producing, and I think that I excel in this field, so I am glad to know this before the end of my degree.