“Technology didn’t give us more time, it just upped the expectations of what we could do in the same time”
(J. Ciulla, cited in Frieberg, 2009, p.234)
This thesis describes my findings concerning a personal experiment, From Digital to Analogue. Born out of a frustration about physical complaints I decided to not touch computers for a period of two months, not in my work as a Digital Media Designer, nor in my personal life. I documented this research in a blog, an analogue blog.
I was born in 1985, which largely determines my relationship with computers. The fact that I am a ‘digital native’ and not a ‘digital immigrant’ means that the computer - at the time people started using it frequently- wasn’t a machine which I had to consciously learn how to use. On the contrary, it was always a part of my life. In such extent that it became an extension of my body. The consequences attached clearly had an impact on my cognitive behaviour. My behaviour was expressing symptoms similar to the computer itself. Growing up with access to computers created a –so to speak- multi-tasking mindset, which lead to Continuous Partial Attention (CPA) syndrome, meaning the urge to be informed of each new events and to keep searching for updates. Information available is never satisfying enough. The younger generation is unaware of the way in which the constant stream of information enters our lives, we hardly make any selection. Technology doesn’t scan the stream of information and creates the illusion each piece of information is equally valuable, important and true. All this led to –what I call- my ‘digital time perception’. A time perception in which the computer has become a time-killing-machine. A machine which offers you anything you need, an endless sea of possibilities in which you’re easily unaware – or better yet, lost- of time, space, information, choices or boredom.
The arrival of The Personal Computer promised to make things easier, faster, accessible, to make our lives more calm. That promise has not been kept. Guideline in this paper is the question: In what extent is my personal perseption of time connected to my use of computers? In this paper I will discuss a ‘digital awareness’, an renewed interlinked awareness about time, technology, digital slavery, society, infobesitas, generations and ‘why-oh-why’ we keep turning on that screen.
Download Digital Exile.pdf (dutch)