Worth pondering from James Shelley:
Time spent reading social timelines is time lost. Scrolling through a timeline is time consumed by the curated projections of other people’s lives, which are absorbed wholly and only at the cost of living your own.
Or, to put it another way: time spent on timelines amounts to time spent not living your life.
Spending your time on a timeline is valuable only to the extent you define value in your life by the amount of your life spent reading about the lives of others.
Time spent on a timeline is not time paused, it is life extracted. On average, then, time spent reading timelines is irredeemable and wasted.
If the most immediate value we derive from timelines is that they distract us from ourselves — from the lives we are living, here and now — how much value should ascribe to them?
See also Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.
If you are taking a picture of your children, which is to say if you are holding a camera (…) and snapping a picture, then are you, in that moment, looking at them?
Or are you anticipating a moment in the future—it is sometimes ten seconds in the future but it could well be ten years—when you will be looking at this very moment?
via Saying Goodbye to Now.
A recent paper from Jeffrey Pfeffer at Stanford and Sanford DeVoe of the University of Toronto argues that promoting an “economic view of time” (that time is scarce and should be thought of in monetary terms) makes us less able to enjoy time off because we always think of it as losing money:
The modern employment relationship generally increases the connection between time and money with important implications for people’s choices about how to use their time, including how much to work and how much to volunteer their time in unpaid activities. Although it may not have been consciously done, modern management seems to have created a hedonic treadmill in which people want to trade time for money and because of thinking of time like money cannot enjoy leisure activities as much.
…the social status of leisure versus work has changed over time so that working is now a status symbol, signaling people’s importance to their organizations—a change that itself may derive in part from how we view time.
via Business Insider.
If you had four pictures of a person at different ages, how would you lay them out in chronological order?
Almost every culture in the world uses space to think about time, but the visualizations vary widely. A paper in Psychological Science describes the first culture known to tie time’s march to the cardinal directions.The Pompuraawan, a remote tribe in Australia, do not have terms for spatial relationships such as “left” or “in front of.” Instead they use the directions as descriptors, such as “my south arm.” They think of time the same way, the new study found. When asked to arrange four pictures showing a person’s life, Pompuraawans laid the photos in a line from east to west.
Three main factors affect how people imagine time, says Stanford University psychologist Lera Boroditsky, an author of the study.
- One influence is how the culture thinks spatially; for instance, the Pompuraawans often gesture to the sun to indicate the time of day, Boroditsky says.
- The layout of the written word also plays a role. Israelis tend to think of time as flowing from right to left, Boroditsky concluded in a study last year—the same direction Hebrew is written.
- Last, a language’s metaphors can have an effect. Mandarin Chinese associates “up” with the past and “down” with the future. And research shows Mandarin speakers often put photos in a column with the earliest at the top.
via Scientific American.