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IPFS News Link • General Opinion

Is Anyone Else's Life as Stupidly Complicated by Digital "Shadow Work" as Mine Is?

• Activist Post

By Charles Hugh Smith

We seem to have entered a world of anti-leisure and anti-productivity in which the unpaid "shadow work" demanded to keep all the complicated digital bits in motion obliterate our leisure and productivity.

Is your life as stupidly complicated as mine is? Of course it is unless you've withdrawn from all engagement with the digital realm and all devices containing digital components.

To rephrase the question: is anyone else a boiled frog like I am? Yes, a frog slowly boiled by the steadily increasing burdens of the "shadow work" required to maintain a life that has become, without us noticing, dependent on constant unpaid effort to keep all the stuff we now depend on functioning.

There are illusions galore in this mimicry of technological "empowerment:" the illusion that we "own" all the stuff that becomes a brick once a digital component fails or we fail to accept the new terms of service. The illusion that all these services and devices "free us" to enjoy more leisure. The illusion that performing all the unpaid shadow work needed to keep all the complicated stuff functioning is "worth it" rather than a form of digital servitude.


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