Do you wear a watch on your wrist? I do. It has been my main accessory since I can remember. “The happy do not measure time” – my classmates would often tell me when I asked them why they were not wearing a watch. “Yes, but is that also why you are disrespectful and late for everything?” In today’s day and age, many people ditched the wrist watch for a smartphone. Even though I understand that having something on your wrist can bother you, but I do not understand how continuously looking at your phone is any better. You can look at your wrist more discretely than at your phone. But to each their own.
Over the weekend, I stumbled upon a Youtube video promoting a Chrome plug-in, which is meant to keep you motivated. How? Well, thanks to it, every time you open a new tab in your browser, you will see your age down to the minute. It is meant to show you that every passing minute brings you closer to death, Ideally, that should motivate you to do whatever it is that needs doing NOW. There is no time to waste. While I agree that time is precious, I do not like such an intense approach. Being aware of each passing minute just makes me more nervous and stressed. Instead of focusing on the moment, I pass it thinking of the end.
Sommarøy is a Norwegian island, where people are trying to abolish time. When I first read the headline, I was not sure what to expect. “How can that be?” – I asked. The reason why the residents of the island want to get rid of the concept of time is to… have more time. They argue that the constraints of time turned us into robots fulfilling various tasks and checking them off the list without being spontaneous, doing what we want and actually living. The island is located North of the Arctic circle and is inhabited by around 320 people. They say that living without time is something they have done for generations.
From November to January, the sun does not rise on the island. From mid May to almost the end of June, it does not set. That allows people to be out and about in the middle of the night in the summertime. CNN reports that: “Islanders hope to be free of traditional opening hours and to introduce flexibility in school and working hours.” The leader of the Time Free Zone campaign thinks that: “If you want to cut the lawn at 4 am, then you do it.“
The idea seems outrageous at first. How would you know when the bus is to arrive at your stop? Or when the store opens? Or when you should go to school? We NEED time. Also, our body is a giant clock. It does not only tick for women and their fertility. Our organs are dependent on the circadian rhythm, which runs in 24 hour increments.
When faced with such issues, the proponents of the time free zone admit that what they are trying to do is give themselves some flexibility. They see people rushing everywhere. Burning out. They do not want that and so they are trying to take some drastic measures.
I feel that, like with anything, we need to find the golden medium when it comes to time. We should not waste it, but we should also savor all the non-negative moments. If you do not have a constricting schedule, stop and smell the roses, but if you agreed to meet someone at a specific time, try to be there at that time. You do not like being rushed? Well, other people do not like idly sitting and waiting for you to finally show up. Do not waste other people’s time.
What would you do if you saw no sun for a couple of months?
What would you do if the sun did not set for a couple of months?
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