In my opinion, time is relative. Perhaps I say this because of the culture that I grew up in. Or perhaps it is just the way that I think. I also think that technology skews time sort of like the refraction of light through a prism. As technology improves, time also shifts and appears to move at a faster pace. My argument includes two different aspects: child’s play and digital versus analog.
Children in the United States of America have very few responsibilities. Parents, family members, and other adults in the community take care of all of the child’s needs. Children have very little concern for the passing of time. Time in the mind of a child is based off of events like summer break, play time, school day, seasons, holidays, etc. There is nothing exact about these events. They are all relatively placed in an ongoing timeline. If you ask a child how much longer until play time is over, they may give you a response like, “as soon as the lights go out.” All of this only changes as the child gains more access to technology. Once a child can read the time on a clock they are able to create and meet deadlines as their responsibilities increase.
Digital Versus Analog
The text-book definition of digital may differ from y definition, but I think it fits the discussion about the relativity of time and technology. My definition of digital is the ability of a device to take specific measurements. This is different from analog technology that enables a device to take relative measurements. An example of a digital device would be cell phone with GPS capabilities and an example of an analog device would be a compass. A clock with automatic time synchronization, similar to the clock on your cell phone would be considered digital by my definition, unlike a clock with manual settings that must be adjusted by the user.
I believe that there is an inverse relationship between time and technology. As technology shifts more into the digital realm with precise measurements and automatic updating, time seems to decrease. Maybe it is because people are becoming more efficient in their workdays; we are able to cram more activities into the day because we carry devices that keep track of precise times and deadlines. For the working business person technology offers great advantages. But what of everyone else? What does technology do for the children and retired senior citizens? Are we speeding time up so fast they that are not able to enjoy the capstones of life? Do grandma and grandpa really want to spend their last days counting down the exact seconds in every day? Do toddlers really care to calculate the number of hours and days until the first day of school? Or do parents really want to defend their case that bed time is not an exact time, but rather it is when mom and dad say so? I’m not against technology. I enjoy the benefits of digital technology, but I do not want to lose access to the good ‘ol methods of analog technology.
I like to wake up when the sun starts peeking through my bedroom window. I take an afternoon break when the sun is at its highest and I start heading home when the sky has an orange-yellow tint. I know that fall is coming when the wind gets strong and the atmosphere feels cool and breezy. I don’t need a smart phone to tell me when the first day of spring is or what time I should go to sleep. Most new products are being describes as having “smart” capabilities, but I don’t think there is anything dumb about a paper-back calendar and notebook. I prefer the more relative lifestyle that places an emphasis on human interaction with nature over technology. Perhaps this is the reason why I decided that “postaday” doesn’t actually equal one post per day.