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How Silicon Valley sets time

Wajcman, Judy (2019) How Silicon Valley sets time. New Media & Society, 21 (6). 1272 - 1289. ISSN 1461-4448

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1461444818820073


Digital calendars are logistical media, part of the infrastructure that configures arrangements among people and things. Calendars increasingly play a fundamental role in establishing our everyday rhythms, shaping our consciousness of temporality. Drawing on interviews with several Silicon Valley calendar designers, this article explores how the conceptualization and production of scheduling applications codify contemporary ideals about efficient time management. I argue that these ideals reflect the driving cultural imperative for accelerated time handling in order to optimize productivity and minimize time wasting. Such mechanistic approaches treat time as a quantitative, individualistic resource, obscuring the politics of time embedded in what can and cannot be graphically represented on the grid interface. I conclude that electronic calendars are emblematic of a longstanding but mistaken belief, hegemonic in Silicon Valley, that automation will deliver us more time.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2018 14:13
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 02:34

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