Wednesday: Popular American Culture and Politics

NB: The opinions and viewpoints of our bloggers do not necessarily represent the opinions and viewpoints of New York Moves.

The Commodification of Time

Modern society has bitten off more than it can chew.  The globalized world and the high-tech gadgets have encroached on our personal time, and they’re moving in on our sanity.

Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck inside a clock and I can’t get out.

I work a day job from 7:30 to 4:00.  I commute three hours a day, and I haven’t had a lunch break in three months because there’s too much to be done.  That means that from 5:30am to 5:30 pm, my time isn’t my own.  I’m not the only one.

In the interest of diversifying, I don’t JUST have a day job.  I’ve got contracted work, too.  That means I participate in or maintain 5 Facebook pages, 2 Twitter accounts, 3 webpages and 3 blogs.  I’ve got two PCs, one MacBook, one MacBook Pro, and an iPhone.  I’m not the only one.

There’s also non-cyber work to be done.  I wrote a book on the history of the stained glass windows for a Cathedral in Atlanta, and now they’re flying me down to give tours to VIP donors.  While I’m there, I’ll give another lecture to a group of 400 women.  Meanwhile, a church in Philadelphia got a hold of my book and has asked me to give three lectures on the history of their church art.  One of those lectures has to be completed before I leave for Atlanta.  I stop taking notes on the transfer of meaning through colors from traditional religious icons to 18th century paintings, and how the positioning of Mary Magdalen’s face tells the viewer what this artist’s version of Jesus thinks of her (she’s not a prostitute this time – her hair is covered), in order to open a new document and dial in to a conference call to this month’s Moves Cover.  Did I mention I also sing weddings to make a buck on a Saturday?  But I’m not the only one.

I call my family during my commute, or I don’t call them at all.  My brothers now pick up the phone and say, “So.  Where are you headed?”  Or, more likely, “Good night?” because I use the walk home from the bar at 1am to call them.  I’m not the only one.

Meanwhile, my friends are fantastic.  They’re the type of people I can do anything with, and we do.  Movies with post-viewing full analysis.  Dinner at the latest restaurant.  Drinks out at that new no-sign-outside speakeasy.  Alma Mater basketball games, concerts, coffee shop trips, art museums, a 5k, a 10-miler, a Color Run.  I’m not the only one.

Then my (all married) childhood friends’ mothers want to know why I’m not married yet (I haven’t found anyone who can keep up with me), and why I’m not on e-harmony (I spend 12 hours a day online for work, and my primary work function is “marketing” which is code for “bullshitting.”  I’m not spending more time online trying to determine someone’s actual person-to-person possibility).  And I’m not the only one.

Do you ever feel like you’re too busy living your life to live your life?  Why have we all sacrificed ourselves the gods of productivity?  Why is fear of a unfulfilling life so easily confused with fear of missing out?  We run ourselves ragged so that by the time that blessed hour of reprieve and non-activity finally comes, we’re too exhausted to do anything but stare at reality television and eat junk food.  I’m not asking for the simple life.  I don’t want to be relegated to a reality where “what shall I fix Mr. Jones for dinner?” is the main concern of the day.  But maybe a life where I can take time to appreciate things without feeling like I’ve got half my brain on the next thing to accomplish.

Hold on- I just got a text message….



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One response to “Wednesday: Popular American Culture and Politics

  1. Pingback: Wednesday: Popular American Culture and Politics | newyorkmoves·

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