Perhaps you’ve noticed it too, or perhaps it’s just something those of us in the strange world between Mac and PC see. A couple of months ago I noticed something strange: the time clock on my work computer (PC) differed from that on the various Mac devices scattered about the house. The difference was about a minute, possibly a bit less than that. PC, symbolically, was running behind Mac time. Now, I have no idea where either platform gets its data regarding what time it is. I do know that I never have to set clocks anymore, and that the traditional clocks in the house all have trouble keeping up with electronic time. Still, it is odd that time signatures that had, for many years been the same are now off by a number of seconds.
Time is a mystery. We know it’s passing and many of us looked up suddenly a few days ago and said “How did it get to be August?” A summer without vacations, without the usual markers, has silently and sickly slipped by. We’re all waiting for something undefined, and time has begun to slip. The phrase always makes me think of “The Time Warp,” and that may be more appropriate than I realize. We live by the clock. My jeremiad—surely not mine alone—is that I never have enough time. The pandemic and its endless Zoom meetings have taken much of what had been a quiet, if time-stressed, life and made it a very busy time-starved life. Meanwhile HR measures your loyalty by the hour and minute and many of us therefore overcompensate. “Time,” Morpheus says, “is always against us.”
So you can see why I’m concerned about that missing minute. There’s a question as to who owns it, but still, it’s another busy moment to slip into a life with barely enough time as it is. If I perchance glance at my phone during work hours I notice the discrepancy. Can we not agree about what time it is? Businesses, of course, like the more conservative PC image. Many creative types prefer the freedom and ease of use of Macs, particularly those of us who learned the computer world on one. And since conservatives drive with a foot on the brakes it does make me wonder if they’re slowing down time or Apple is speeding it up. The end result is the same—we don’t know what time it is anymore. A deeply divided society can’t even agree on that, it seems.