Acceleration of the pace of life
Acceleration of social change
|Rosa, Hartmut (2005 / 2013). Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity. New York Chichester, West Sussex: Columbia University Press. S.156|
The circle of acceleration is thus a good example of the divergence of individual and collective rationality: what appears to be a solution to the problem of time scarcity from a microsocial perspective—the technical acceleration of goal-directed processes—proves to be an essential element of its causation at the macrosocial level. In everyday practical contexts this state of affairs is reflected in our desire for the maximal acceleration of all routine processes, which implies that everyone else with whom we come into contact should hurry up as much as possible so that we can have some time—an obviously self-undermining strategy. As we have already seen, though, the paradoxical time-reducing effect of technical acceleration shows up in still another way in our everyday behaviors, namely, in the alteration of the implicit temporal standards and rationalities of action: we send an e-mail message instead of a letter because this saves time resources (and of course also mental energy) and thereby risk already getting an answer a few hours (instead of several days) later and hence once again being under pressure to act. As the line of argument developed here has shown, this is also a form of the “contraction of the present,” one that harbors an inherent impulse toward the accelerated continuation of chains of communication and action.