Saturday, 19 April 2008


I think technology should be about about manipulating space (by making it negligible - e.g., cars, planes etc) and time (by giving us more of it - e.g., microwaves, washing machines etc). In one sense, then, I admire Vodafone's newish strategy - to make the best use of your time - because mobile communication frees up otherwise dead time. This is the essence of their recent TV spot:

As Judy Dench tells us it's "the hanging around time, the A-B time" that could be better spent.

In another sense though, it just stretches the time when we need to be connected and available. This is further time in which to be interrupted by bosses or diverted by the non-linear attractions of the Internet.

Making the most of 'now' also means being in a permanent state of 'now'; time for reflection is suspended by the tyranny of being constantly 'on'. "The hours not really spent doing anything" are assumed to be bad in the ad. But the hours not really spent doing anything are important.

With the growth of hyper-connectivity the need for independence and quiet reflection amid this 'now' state are going to be every more important as technology (and thus bosses) encroach ever more on this time. We need may need digital holidays.

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