In many ways, the world feels like it has been paused as a result of the social distancing measures put into place during the COVID-19 situation. The practices that we have established in our everyday lives have been disrupted and are being replaced by new norms and behaviours. Oftentimes these daily practices are interwoven with our own concepts and experiences of time, so as a result of this disruption, people are now experiencing the passage of time in a markedly different way.
The idea of time as both a scientific absolute and a cultural construct makes it an interesting focus of study for understanding the significant disruption that the current situation has caused for individuals. Durkheim suggests that time is a collective cultural construct(Gell, 1996, p. 4), but as people disconnect from everyday social practices, their experiences of time may start to shift. The importance of time can also come into question.
I have noticed that my own experience of the passage of time has changed significantly since I began social isolation in mid-March. In order to explore this phenomenon, I will reflect daily on the new habits and daily practices I am adopting in order to adjust to the current situation and the impact on my experience of the passage of time. I’m uncertain on how this will unfold and anticipate that my methods will change as I start to explore this idea. Ultimately, I would like to collect my experiences of time and the practice of everyday life into multimedia stories.
Gell, A. (1996). The anthropology of time: cultural constructions of temporal maps and images. Oxford: Berg.