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The Fracturing of Free Time

From Refusal of Work by David Frayne, pg 70:

Consider the extent to which the standard eight-hour working day fractures free-time into shards. The full-time worker experiences time as a rapid series of discrete pockets: a constantly rotating cycle of work periods and free periods, in which free-time is restricted to evenings, weekends and holidays. When free-time is fragmented in this way, the cursory hobbies that Adorno denounces may be all that we have time for. Slivers of free-time offer limited scope for engagement in more substantial self-defined activities –activities which would demand steady investments of time and energy in the form of concentration, dedication, the building of communities, or the learning of new skills (Lodziak, 2002: 100). The extreme casualty of this situation is today’s archetypal rushed worker, who commutes home in the dark hours with emails still to answer, feels too drained to engage emotionally with the family, and is disinclined to do very much other than drink wine and watch TV before bed. The point here is not that drinking wine or watching TV are ‘low’ activities, but that the worker has been deprived of the time and energy to choose otherwise.

Categories: Digital Distraction, Personal Agency and The Reflexive Imperative The Intensification of Work

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