Focusing on the essence of time within the 21st century, this weeks reading deconstructs our cultural progression towards an increasingly fast-paced lifestyle. Examining how technology has imprisoned rather than liberated us from our careers.
Overall, this rapid progression has established a growing sense of ‘time pressure’, as we face a shared global trend towards ‘temporal impoverishment’. Wajcman coins this economic system as ‘fast capitalism’, occurring in what she often describes as an ‘acceleration society’.
In reaction to this, society has also seen the creation of such movements as the ‘slow-food’and ‘slow cities’ movements. Both of which, place emphasis on the slowing of time and the appreciation of life’s infinite details. This has also been reflected through the abundance of growth occurring within the ‘mind business’. Creating an entire ‘mindfulness’ revolution. Which has been particularly popular among large corporations, whom fund workshops and employee initiatives that help to alleviate stress and boost morale.
As highlighted in the reading; Ben Agger labels this new framework as ‘iTime’, an aspect of cultural globalisation which believes that we have ‘too much to do and not enough time to do it’. Wajcman believes that in order for us to continue to grow as a society we must continue to ’embrace the emancipatory potential of technoscience’ whilst also remaining its ‘chief critic’. This departs from the often suggested ‘technological abstinence’, that other authors, yogi’s and health practitioners have suggested.
I believe that ‘technological abstinence’ or at least not using your phone for a week is an important experience and reminder of our dependency on its technology. At least this was my experience when I decided to pick up my backpack and travel through India almost 3 years ago. With no working phone or source of internet I was forced into conversations with strangers as I asked them for directions. I became unable to talk to my friends on Facebook overseas and I spent the majority of my time embracing everything around me.
This freedom changed my entire trip and I could not recommend it highly enough to those wanting to disconnect from a world that is so highly “connected”.