Perception of Time
Is it really like we always say, today in this capitalist world, we are so occupied that don’t have time to socialise, don’t have time to leisure. What has changed in our life comparing to hundreds years ago? Has humans’ perception of time changed?
In the era of internet, do we have more time to social or less? If we should call communicating with others online as being socialising?
Using internet contains always, and only information input and/or output. News reading, movie/video watching are mostly input process. Writing Emails is counted as the newest form of writing letters. Writing instant messages can happen at the same time when you do other things or a single thing you do. You can also writing messages with several people at the same time. People can group chat. Isn’t it “hanging out”? Some video chatting with friends and families for hours, or watching the same TV programs while skypping, just like they are “hanging out” and spending time with them. Can’t all of these activities be consider as “socialising”?
Has internet changed the meaning of “social”?
If one talks about “social space”, most young people today would instantly think of the virtual social space. “Social networks” as they call it. On Google plus, one can add friends’ accounts into his own “circle”, and then one can see if they are online, if so, ask them if they want to “hang out”.
i think, whether or not an activity can be called socialising should be defined by how the participants feel, instead of how it looks like, how “weird” it might be. Feeling is always a tricky and unrecognised way to define and to measure. But isn’t it an ultimate criteria or everything we do? Maybe this is a possible topic for sociologists and phycologists, to find out how we can develop a system to measure if we are “feeling” ourselves socialising, as if we can’t tell by ourselves.
Coming back to perception of time, I believe, if we modern humans carefully count how much time we devoted into professional tasks or studies, the truth is, not so much as we imagined. Working from 9 to 17 is 8 hours in total. If 8 hours sleeping time not calculated, we still have 8 hours to do whatever we can and want — socialising, meditating, eating (for some who say them being too busy to eat), exercising, and reading and writing.
But why don’t we feel the 8 hours? Comparing to Bengali men sitting everyday 5 hours together and chatting, we live in a seemingly much stressful way.
In fact, we still have the 8 hours, but we only have them as small pieces, instead of hours of time chunk as people have living in pre-modernity.
Urbanisation of cities make people spend more and more time on transportation. So much junk and useless information on the internet and television distract us every day for one or two ours. involuntarily and voluntarily we give away so much time a day. And still feeling lack of time.
We are living in a completely different world than our ancestors. They faced big chunk of time a day, from dawn to dawn. Later, specialisation of labour re-decided the world’s resource distribution; while for individuals, specialising certain activities and distributing them into small sections of time is a favoured way to solve this problem.