Time Online

Nancy White, November 2003

In the summer of 2002 I participated in a great dialog on the nature of time onine as part of Net*Working 2003 (See also the follow on discussion here.) Gilly Salmon mentioned the idea that time online is like "snowflake time." She had mentioned in a taped address clock time (linear, system and clinical) felt time (dependant on how connected we are) and then later in a discussion, elapsed time. She wrote:
    "Whilst I agree that asynchronicity can, should (must) (might)(will) give us freedom from clock time it's a paradox- since the best of online and distance learning enables good pacing, and people learn best, most happily, most willingly in cohorts which assumes some management of time to be together. I'm coming round to thinking, that, along with participation and emotions, TIME in all its aspects is going to be a critical aspect in the success of online learning.

    For a start think about asynchronicity and complexity, and relationships whatcha your response to this??:

    Here is a little extract. It’s from a novel and the author is describing a relationship that is developing based on exchange of letters, but I think it illustrates the experience of asynchronicity most graphically:"
      “…by the time you open a letter of mine and accept its truth, I am already somewhere else. When I read your letters, I am actually inside a moment of yours that has passed; I am with you inside a time you are no longer inhabiting. This works out to each of us being faithful to each other’s abandoned moments…” (Grossman 2002 p. 107)
This has kept me thinking about how we live with time online. Here are a few additional items to add to Gilly's list: Clock Time Felt Time Elapsed Time The Punctuation of Time "Snowflake Time"