Yet despite such optimistic views, trust in the media is still low (at 27 percent for newspapers according to the report) and new research that surveyed 19,000 American adults age 18 and older shows that people struggle with navigating through the abundance of information.
WASHINGTON — A panicked network anchor went home and deleted his entire personal Gmail account. A Democratic senator began rethinking the virtues of a flip phone. And a former national security official gave silent thanks that he is now living on the West Coast.
Last year I turned off all my notifications. I stopped booking meetings. I started living asynchronously.
Now instead of being interrupted throughout the day — or rushing from one meeting to the next — I sit down and get work done.
I work a lot. I communicate with hundreds of people a day. I collaborate extensively. But I do so on my own terms, at my own tempo.
You can live more asynchronously, too. I’ll explain the benefits. I’ll show you how.
The massacre in San Bernardino, Calif., came a few days after a law went into effect banning access by intelligence agencies to key digital communications. It is time for the U.S. to get ahead of terrorism by finally allowing its intelligence agents to use digital tools before the next attack.
There are plenty of reasons to put our cellphones down now and then, not least the fact that incessantly checking them takes us out of the present moment and disrupts family dinners around the globe. But here’s one you might not have considered: Smartphones are ruining our posture. And bad posture doesn’t just mean a stiff neck. It can hurt us in insidious psychological ways.
Earlier this fall, a friend of yours, or perhaps a robot, may have dropped this bit of clickbait into one of your feeds: You Are Now More at Risk of Dying While Taking a Selfie Than Being Killed by a Shark. According to the authors of this widely circulated story, selfie-caused fatalities have become a phenomenon of significant proportions. What used to be seen as unconnected, accidental deaths are now examples of a supposedly distinct global pandemic.
Donald J. Trump and Hillary Clinton said this week that we should think about shutting down parts of the Internet to stop terrorist groups from inspiring and recruiting followers in distant lands. Mr. Trump even suggested an expert who’d be perfect for the job: “We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening, and we have to talk to them — maybe, in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some way,” he said on Monday in South Carolina.
While distracted driving has commanded lots of attention (albeit not a commensurate amount of correction), another digital hazard — distracted walking — is on the rise, with sometimes disastrous consequences.
Name an inequity, and it is highly likely that social media has helped call meaningful attention to it, if not started and hashtagged a movement.
But a glance through your acquaintances’ aggrieved online posts may well show equal attention paid to the slings and arrows of everyday vexations. The same technology that allows people to voice their displeasure with dictatorships, police brutality and prejudice also enables them to carp about mediocre meals, rude customer service and that obnoxious guy at the next table who won’t shut up.
Someday soon, cars may drive themselves, and perhaps we will be better off for it. Until then, driving remains a human task, subject to fundamental limits on our ability to pay attention. The National Safety Council estimates that in 2013 alone, 1.1 million crashes involved using a phone, and the Transportation Department counted more than 3,000 deaths and 400,000 injuries caused by distracted driving that same year.