Media Blurring Boundaries: Where has all the TIME gone?

by 2:03 PM 2 comments

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Hej folks~ 

Have you ever been so busy the whole day until when you finally have some free time, you realized that it is actually bedtime? For most, this is practically the basic routine of their daily lives. But the funny thing is... when you try to recall back what you have been doing for the whole day, you remember nothing except for the exhaustiveness and the busy day of doing this and that, but nothing concrete... and you can only wonder...

...where has the time gone? 

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Going back to the past, especially during the eras of industrial life, Binh (2012) said that there used to lie a thick boundary between work and home. The industrial worker then would work from 8 to 5 at a Fordist line in some factory and go home after work. Basically, during that time, work and family were two different notions, constituting of two different times.

However, with the new advancements in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), came along the changing of time. Besides that, the innovation has also brought upon advantages, disadvantages and fundamentally a change in the pattern of media use. This change in the use of media is the fact that media use, itself has sneaked and taken root into our day-to-day lives. For instance, our communication has crossed over the boundaries of time and space, blurring many traditional notions and habit without our realization. One issue taken note here is the overlapping of the working sphere and the private sphere which has recently become a social trend and issue.

Fageria (2016) recently has noted that boundaries between work and life balance have become an issue for both employers and employees in the healthcare industry. In his research conducted on the work-life balance, he noted that new technology has served as a double-edged sword. He explained that, on one hand, technology has enabled employees to keep up-to-date on issues while away from the office but this can bring both positive and negative effects because it either can decrease or increase the work pressures, depending on what the issues are. 

On the other hand, highlighting the good side of technology, Fageria's research (2016) revealed that technology provides a more flexible work time and place for the employees. It is said to speed up the process of the information interaction and the responses, which in retrospect shorten the time needed for decision-making (Fageria, 2016). However, the back side of technology is seen through the events where employees have to work beyond daily normal working hours as they can do their work on the mobile media technology (Fageria, 2016; Towers, Duxbry, & Thomas, 2005). Fageria (2016) also put forward the negative effect on the personnel life of employees who stranded in the imbalance work-life practice especially in term of the family time and commitment which might lead to broken relationships. Fageria (2016) explains that technology has, in turn, facilitated a strong sense of connectivity to work, making it harder to get off work. 

In this case, mobile ICT has instead become a quiet accomplice for the overtime work of the employees. Towers, Duxbury, and Thomas (2005) have also brought out the concept of 'work extending technology (WET)' as the changing pattern of the traditional working style. In the past, the employees work ONLY a limited number of hours and the office is the ONLY working place. However, nowadays, the act of performing work is no longer limited to specific hours or a specific location because the mobile media devices also ensure the same productivity as in the office (Towers, Duxbury, & Thomas, 2005). 

Andy Jacques
This statement was further emphasized by Andy Jacques, the general manager of EMEA Good Technology, as he said 
There was a time when it was difficult to continue working outside of the office without carrying a laptop. But with today's 'always on' society, people are much working from the moment they wake up until the moment they fall asleep (as cited in Smith-Squire, 2012).  
Despite that, he also has the perception that smartphones and tablets are not all bad as it has brought upon an advantage which is the facilitation of communication and sharing which makes it easier to work on the move - at the school gate, on the train or in the queue at the coffee shop. This thus allows people to choose when and where they want to get things done and may enable greater productivity than ever before. 

Of course, advantages brought by the advanced technology was also mentioned in Fageria (2016) research as it also raised the expectation for both employees and employers in achieving goals and objectives. Besides that, it also cut down the unnecessary meeting time, which was said to have increased pressures among employees, but it is also later said to lead to the high absenteeism, lower productivity, and higher turnover rates (Fageria, 2016).


Binh, N. T. (2012). The division of household labor in Vietnamese families at present 
      time. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 2(5),
      59-68. Retrieved from:

Fageria, G. (2016). Effect of technology on work life balance of employees. International 
     Journal if Science Technology and Management, 5(4), 81-84. Retrieved from: 

Smith-Squire, J. (2012). Do you put in more than three weeks of overtime without 
      realizing?.Retrieved from:

Towers, I., Duxbury, L., & Thomas, J., (2005). Time thieves and space invaders:    
     Technology, work and the organization.  Retrieved from:


Life-long Learner

A group of ten Ansos students, comprising of Vivian, Ching, Steph, Mun Yee, Pik Lam, Siti, Joanna, Ludiah, Hidayat and Ardillah blogging about communication and technology, striving for an A in this course and having a snack while we are at it :)


  1. You've made a point there! The disconnection of time boundary for working hours does affect our live in many ways, as it even invade into our private space to spend time leisurely.

  2. Ya. I agree with this.With the technological communication, I no longer able to differentiate clearly between working time and leisure time.