The Value Of Time In The Era Of Digital Culture

The Value Of Time In The Era Of Digital Culture

Digital Culture, Wake up at 7.00; I open my eyes as if they had catapulted me into an unknown dimension, unaware of the reason why I came into the world.

Even before full awareness of who I am is formed, I see my smartphone on the bedside table out of the corner of my eye, and instinct leads me to take that black tile and start reading a slew of notifications that remind me of the show, the for whom and why to wake up, the list of activities that await me, the program of the day and about 10 emails to read. Ok, everything becomes clear to me.

Now the attention goes to the social folder, and in the meantime, I get out of bed: towards the toilet. First, Twitter, then Facebook, they accompany me in a quick reading of what is happening in the world and among my network of contacts. A few likes, a good morning post, reading the RSS feeds, and starting the day. In the 1920s, it might have taken me about a month to collect so much information, but now the journey between the bedroom and the toilet was enough. Strong, right?

Time seems to have expanded. In a few years, I would not be surprised if we started talking about activities carried out for seconds and not for days.

A day is made up of 86,600 s, and with the penetrability and portability of the internet, it seems we want to optimize them all.

In 10 seconds, we read more or less two posts on Facebook; in 36 seconds, we book a return flight to Barcelona at the lowest possible cost; in 29 seconds, we buy a dinner for two with a sea view. In 35 seconds, we reach over 100 friends with the publication of a post that says: “Barcelona, I’m coming!”.

The digital age has definitely redesigned the temporal, but above all, cultural boundaries of all of us; We are used to getting everything immediately, and we think almost like an application.

We seek an immediate resolution for every need by committing ourselves with the only effort of a click with our finger on the world.

Time seems to be an enemy of digital. Perhaps the only one.

It is considered an insurmountable independent variable. Messages such as: “In a short time you book your trip,” “How long does it take to pay your bulletin?” or even “The solution for your quick shipment in 24h” are just some of the many advertising messages of the web applications that they offer us from day to day.

A day is made up of 86,600 s, and with the penetrability and portability of the internet, it seems we want to optimize them all.

What is the leverage? Time is a scarce resource, and it is expensive.

Reflecting on our daily habits, we realize that the system of our actions with the advent of digital has changed from a “series” model to a “parallel” one. I’m talking about multitasking. This function, known for those born and living with digital, consists in carrying out several activities at the same time, thus managing to optimize time.

This a very attractive solution for those who look at time as a scarce resource and idolize the epic of doing everything at the same time, but it is a pity that we have to deal with our brains that “are not wired for multitasking.”

Answering the phone, looking for something on the internet, buying a product, posting, checking email, etc., are all actions that modify the centers of the brain assigned to the search for novelty and reward.

Neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin, director of the Laboratory for Music, Cognition, and Expertise at McGill University and author of the book “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload in his statement states that:

You respond and feel rewarded for completing a task (although unknown until 15s before).

A sort of return to the brain activity of the stimulus-response type out of any act of interpretation. Digital and access to “rapid applications” thus form two interpretations of time in people. The first is that “it is always too little” and “there is never time” to do everything in reference to the infinite amount of possible services; the second is that everything could be done in reference to the simplicity and speed of the use of the application. Well, yes, it is a nice conflict.

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