It is said that the ontology of data resists slowness and also that the digital revolution promised a levelling of the playing field. Both theories are examined in this timely collection of chapters looking at time in the digital world. Since data has assumed such a paramount place in the modern neoliberal world, contemporary concepts of time have undergone radical transformation. By critically assessing the emerging initiatives of slowing down in the digital age, this book investigates the role of the digital in ultimately reinforcing neo-liberal temporalities. It shows that both "speed-up" and "slow down" imperatives often function as a form of biopolitical social control necessary to contemporary global capitalism. Problematic paradoxes emerge where a successful slow down and digital detox ultimately are only successful if the individual returns to the world as a more productive, labouring neoliberal subject. Is there another way? The chapters in this collection, broken up into three parts, ask that question.
This thoughtful book explores how we actively construct, negotiate and transform digital timescapes. In particular, it highlights how practices of non-use, disconnection and resistance can be read as expressions of critical hope that enact versions of a concrete utopia. The book thus provides us with original and riveting material with which to challenge the cultural imperative of a fast-paced modernity.
Judy Wajcman, author of Pressed for Time and The Sociology of Speed