Technology and the Workplace


 by Katherine Wagner

What struck me most about this clip was the incorporation of the theme park into the everyday life. While visually this makes the film fun for children, the incorporation of the theme park acts as a metaphor for the ways the American worker uses technology to get through the mundane work day in the cubicle.

The US, similar, to the beehive is notorious for a diligent work ethic and lack of vacation days and time away from the office. Technology has therefore had to develop as both functional and entertaining. I also am thinking about the ways technology is personalized in regards to the user’s attempt to break free of the homogeneity of office life. Whether it be a case for an iPad, a ringtone, or a particular wallpaper for a computer’s background. All of these actions work to mitigate the dependency on technology as well as make personal the impersonal processes of cubicle life.

However with all of this work to make the workday more entertaining comes the consequence of a distracted laborer. The ability to multitask on a singular platform delays the completion of a task and only exasperates the problem of the American work schedule. What is also interesting about this clip is it seems to be critiquing job specific training and the thought of staying with a job for a lifetime. Gen X is notorious for lacking loyalty to their employers by often searching for the next bigger and better source of employment. This sort of manic jumping from career to career is completely counterintuitive to generations before who would commit themselves to 1 or 2 employers in a lifetime. I can not help but wonder if our outlook on life is influenced by our day to day interaction with media. We experience media in shorter fragments while simultaneously using or accessing other media.

Piece originally published at Critical Commons | Creative Commons License