Time Bind is a book I’m currently reading (when I can find the time). The book was written by Arlie Russell Hochschild published in 1997. It’s a sociological study of the then demand characteristics of work/home/life balance. It’s fantastic, real journalism that foreshadows, but doesn’t come close to realizing the bind we’re in now. We are all cracking up under the strain of the time bind.
What the current time bind is is that we are now on a clock that, not only never stops, but demands we don’t either. Sleep? Forget about it. That is if you want to compete. Or even just be noticed. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Notwithstanding, let me explain.
I’m seventy-three, ‘retired’, and live alone. My time is pretty much my own. What I do with it is up to me. I’m Free. [Ha!] However, given my curious nature and predisposition for reading and writing? In addition my conviviality, well. I can’t help myself because it’s my nature to engage. [Though I’ve cut way back.] Therefore, I am attached to the social media platforms of: WordPress, Goodreads, and Youtube.
Here’s the deal. All platforms are designed to keep you engaged. Moreover, that engagement, or ‘community’ is world wide. I call it the Connected Global Community. The CGC is not a good thing. Because of the time bind it imposes.
Consider just these three platforms. I can spend all day and night on any one of the three – satisfying my curiosity and conviviality. And, I don’t have that many ‘friends’, ‘followers’, or subscriptions. However, I still can’t keep up! Moreover, I feel like I’m a bad friend because of that.
is we were not designed for this. We need an upgrade. I don’t care what your values, philosophy, religion, or worldview is. We are all cracking up under the strain of the current time bind.
Some very smart people are now talking about time bending, time travel, and even that time doesn’t exist! Alright.
is an old one. Uh, pass that bottle over here. Wait, no, how about the remote? Both. Maybe I’ll turn my phone off and finish up binge watching Ally McBeal on Amazon Prime.
6 thoughts on “Time Bind 2023 update”
It’s worth noting that the subtitle of her book (which I haven’t read) is When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work — and that’s certainly been a problem in the last few decades. I read once that pagers, and then cell phones, seemed one of the gateways into this. Employers began to expect employees to be available at all hours. (I was sometimes “on call” and once debugged a problem with a customer while lying in bed in the dark. That was weird!)
Yeah, it’s ‘Concept Creep’ to the nth power now. When was that? Your nighttime call? Hochschild’s book predated what’s going on now; but it is heartbreaking. It was pre NAFTA and the explosion of the CGC. One of the workers (hourly, shift worker) anticipates NAFTA and what will happen when … .
The book tells the story of the American Dream’s unravelling before it really happened. I’ll write a review when I’ve finished. Soon. Ha! Who knows?
As always, thanks for your input. Cheers.
I supported that particular product from about 1985 to 1991, so the call would have been in that time period. The blurring of work/life was already much discussed by then. Her book came out in 1997, so I’d guess she’s describing something that was well in progress by that time (usually the case when an academic writes about it).
I don’t really follow the work/life connection to NAFTA, which was from 1994-2020, and I don’t know what CGC is. (Coast Guard Cutter? Canine Good Citizen?)
I’ve complained about “The Death of a Liberal Arts Education” for almost 50 years now, so to me the unraveling of the American Dream has been going on for many decades. A lot of what’s happening now can, I think, be explained by the observation that people raised in a broken education system are now running the world. Woe to us all.
Speaking of endless rabbit trails that perusing the computer can turn into. . . Yes, these “time-saving” devices are a myth. I remember when we first instituted computer grading at school. None of my colleagues could figure out how to use it, so I made a step-by-step guide and sent it around to everyone. Our principal asked me how computer grading was going, if it was saving us time. I laughed and said, “Chuck, every grade I enter takes NINETEEN mouse clicks. So multiply that by 150 students, and tell me if it sounds like it’s saving us any time.”
Savoring nature? If I don’t get intentional about it, one episode or email or web story leads to another, and another. . . “You’ve Got Mail” indeed.
I read once, “the more time saving devices you have, the less time you have.”
I remember you saying that about the computer grading back when it happened.
I’m finishing the book now.
And rewatched You’ve Got Mail. Both of which I’ll write up and post about.
Taking the day off, because of All the games are on the TV – that’s nuts too! Thank goodness I didn’t bet on my pics.