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Documentaries

Accelerated World

We communicate at top speed, we travel faster than ever before, and our consumption knows no bounds. But are we really saving time? And what happens to the time we do save?

28.11.2012 DW-TV Dok&Rep Feature Beschleunigte Welt 1

28.11.2012 DW-TV Dok&Rep Feature Beschleunigte Welt 1

Many studies confirm that our everyday lives are speeding up. Modern life demands speed and growth. Driven by scientific and technological progress, data, money and goods flow around the clock and more quickly than ever before.

“All relevant technological innovations are designed to save time,” says sociologist Hartmut Rosa of the University of Jena.

“All relevant technological innovations are designed to save time,” says sociologist Hartmut Rosa of the University of Jena.

Communication is an excellent example – it’s become about one hundred times faster over the past century. The tools for this speed-up have been supplied by industry, which is under constant pressure to cut production times. The push to get products to market ever more quickly has fueled the rate of industrial innovation, with no end in sight. All this cutting-edge technology promises to save us time. But does it really?

The accelerated world: are we the masters of time, or is time now our master?

The accelerated world: are we the masters of time, or is time now our master?

The same holds for transportation, too. Better transportation networks have made business travel more frequent than ever before – but that’s meant we now travel longer distances and spend more time on the road. And instead of writing a couple of letters a day as we would have in the past, we now compose dozens of emails. Our inboxes are full to bursting – and reading and responding to all of these emails also takes time. The speed of communication nowadays offers little time for reflection, leaving many of us feeling constantly harried and rushed as a result.

Technology has brought us many time-saving conveniences. But are we actually gaining time?

Technology has brought us many time-saving conveniences. But are we actually gaining time?

Consumption patterns are another good example. Nowadays, we can have goods delivered directly to our doorstep. But that also means consumers spend more time online researching the best price for the product they want. So while innovation has increased our efficiency, the time we save is now being spent in different ways – like on internet research, for example.

We’ve created a world in which the pace of daily life has increased exponentially. That’s brought us many benefits, of course. Acceleration and increased flexibility can give us more freedom, and more options for pleasure and enjoyment. In many ways, our lives feel richer as a result. But if acceleration becomes the very point of our existence, something important is lost in the process. This documentary encourages us to pause for reflection – and to take a moment to think about where we stand today.

Broadcasting Times:

DW


WED 12.12.2012 – 22:15 UTC
THU 13.12.2012 – 06:15 UTC
THU 13.12.2012 – 13:15 UTC
THU 13.12.2012 – 17:15 UTC
FRI 14.12.2012 – 04:15 UTC
FRI 14.12.2012 – 10:15 UTC

Cape Town UTC +2 | Delhi UTC +5,5 | Hong Kong UTC +8
San Francisco UTC -8 | Edmonton UTC -7 | New York UTC -5

DW (Europe)

THU 13.12.2012 – 04:15 UTC
THU 13.12.2012 – 17:15 UTC
FRI 14.12.2012 – 06:15 UTC
FRI 14.12.2012 – 13:15 UTC

London UTC +0 | Berlin UTC +1 | Moscow UTC +4

DW (Arabia)

THU 13.12.2012 – 13:15 UTC
FRI 14.12.2012 – 04:15 UTC
FRI 14.12.2012 – 11:15 UTC

Tunis UTC +1 | Cairo UTC + 2 | Dubai UTC +4

DW (Asien)

WED 12.12.2012 – 22:15 UTC

Delhi UTC +5,5 | Bangkok UTC +7 | Hong Kong UTC +8

DW (Amerika)

THU 13.12.2012 – 06:15 UTC

Vancouver UTC -8 | New York UTC -5 | Sao Paulo UTC -2