“Not having enough time feels like a very individual and personal experience, but it actually is an expression of the fact that we have to sell our time. If we’re talking about giving more people more time, that conversation has to be something more collective and structural.”
-Jenny Odell, episode 323 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
Today, we’re joined by writer and artist Jenny Odell! At the top, we discuss the recent legislation regulating social media in Utah (4:02), how these platforms affect our perception of daily life (5:20), and the relationship between time and power Odell unpacks in her first book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy (6:41). Then, we talk about ‘productivity bros’ (13:05), our culture of self-optimization (16:35), and the social inequities that shape our relationships to time (20:31).
On the back-half, we walk through Odell’s tools to help experience time (34:47), a historic picture of today’s home office (38:22), the systemic reform she hopes to see in the US (42:15), and to close, the ways she’s grown since completing her new book Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock (49:30).
- Order Jenny Odell’s new book, Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock.
- Read her 2019 book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy.
- Learn more about her work on her website.
- Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
- Watch Walter Cronkite in the Home Office of 2001 (1967).
- For more conversations, hear our talks with Margaret Atwood, Ocean Vuong, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Powers, Naomi Klein, George Saunders, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Elizabeth Gilbert.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.
Original illustration by Krishna Shenoi.
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