distracted

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Came across this advertisement: in the future your body will be in a meeting your mind will be in the front row of a fashion show

How to think about this figuring (and I use the word deliberately) of body/mind split?

I have, of course, attended meetings where the point is to show one’s face rather than to actually participate in organized discussion aimed at coordinating action toward some shared goal. In fact, most meetings veer into the irrelevant for all too many participants. I have also watched participants answer their phones during a meeting. That said, however, this is the first time I have seen an advertisement that advocates overcoming the inevitability of meetings through better virtual connections someplace else. After all, I assume that the mind at the catwalk is fantastically dressed, rather than actually clothed in haute couture.

Today, I’m distressed by the idea that distraction is presented as an acceptable way of supplementing/ making bearable the gendered division of labor. Let me count the ways:

1) distraction okay because female admins not part of the meeting;

2) distraction inevitable because there are no alternatives to shaping meeting attendance and participation offered;

3) distraction defined through watching rather than participating in design or wearing a dress elsewhere;

4) distraction facilitated by technologies that allow one to go virtual shopping, which in turn keeps one in debt and less able to refuse alienating work.

Question du jour: how beneficial are technologies that intensify human tendencies to distraction? This advertisement seems uncannily like using a television to babysit. But worse. Sigh.

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