Studying media and communication processes through the lens of time and temporality enjoys a long history. Waves of technological innovation such as mechanization and electrification have come with a profound reconfiguration of social time. This holds true for datafication too. Datafication – referring to processes of quantification and the transformation of evermore objects into data, as well as the automation of judgements, evaluations, and decision-making – requires us to rethink, once again, the relationship between media, data, and temporality.
The special issue of New Media & Society will address the continuities and disruptions emerging in the nexus of time and media. It addresses the challenges of acting in the present, acceding to the future, and mobilizing the past in increasingly datafied societies. We assume that the changing mediations of time leave their mark on the ways we process and order the pace, sequence, and rhythms of intersecting lives.