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What Twitter Does to Our Sense of Time

New York Times Opinion: “The past few weeks, watching people weigh alternatives to Twitter, I’ve been reminded of a moment that occurs in every episode of “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” She makes her clients put every piece of clothing they own into a giant (often horrifying) pile before going through it, holding and addressing each garment individually. Although Kondo is sometimes written off as a minimalist who tells you to get rid of everything, to me, her work has more to do with intention and cultivating meaningful ties to the things you have. Clients on the show often end up reckoning with their identities — who they are and who they want to be — and with fundamental shifts they’ve been too scared or busy to take on. For Kondo, to arrange your things is to arrange your best self and your idea of the good life. This lesson from offline spaces can be applied to digital habits, especially the ones that shape our experience of time. ‌Which digital rhythms are we actively following because they make us feel good, and which are we entrained to? Entrainment, a term that originated in biology and then spread to the social sciences, refers to the alignment of an organism’s physiology or behavior with a cycle; the most familiar example would be our circadian rhythm. The signal driving entrainment, in this case light and dark, is called a “zeitgeber” (German for “time giver”)…”

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