Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Reinventing Time

While reading a recent article on NPR's 13.7 blog, one particular statement stood out to me:

Beginning three decades ago, we were promised a new age of freedom through devices that would let us work more efficiently and at our convenience. Instead, this new world was only half-born and digital technologies now have us working everywhere, all the time. Rather than giving us a new time, our Facebooked, GPS-mapped, mobile-connected lives appear to be lashed ever more tightly to the rigid industrial time-logic of our grandparents world.

Striking. We work now more than ever. Where ever we go, our smart-phone has got our business there with us. Our bosses and coworkers can call us, our friends can send us lolcat messages, we can browse the web and check our email on vacation as religiously as we do while at our desk. We have no real time off any longer.

That's an interesting concept. It cleanly shows the juxtaposition of our work lives and our relaxation lives: It's now quite ordinary to interrupt out relaxation time with our work time, but you can't just walk out of the workplace in the middle of the day to grab some ice cream before heading home to relax on the porch, shoes off, feet up.

It occurs to me that in hallways there are sometimes hangings on the wall. But a hallway is a place that you use to get from one destination to the other, like a car, or an elevator. Why, then, are there no paintings hung in elevators? And if a painting is meant to be looked at, why would it be hung in a place you're not going to be hanging around?

Maybe we really are meant to stop and smell the flowers.

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