It’s often said that we live in an era that prizes speed and brevity above all else. There’s long been fast food, but now there’s fast fashion, too. Why take the time to phone someone when an email will take less of your time? Why send an email when a text message would be quicker?
For that matter, why take the time to type the words “I know, right?” or “Just kidding” when you can just type “IKR?” and “JK”?
You’re sitting in bed on a Saturday night, checking your phone. You go onto Snapchat to check your friends’ Snapchat stories. You find that not only your best friend, but all of your friends are at a party and didn’t invite you. You feel both sad and angry that you weren’t informed, and experience a sense of betrayal.
Welcome to the reality of missing out, and Snapchat is at the center of it.
If you’ve ever found Twitter too overwhelming for regular use, you might want to give it another try: The social network’s trying really, really hard to accommodate frazzled users like you.
On Tuesday, Twitter revealed the latest attempt to tame its fire hose: It’s a people-curated feature called “Moments,” which will let some publishers (including The Post) gather tweets around news and “cultural” events and publish them as collections. Instead of having to sift through hundreds of tweets or dig into hashtags to understand breaking news, Twitter users will only have to click into stories on Twitter’s “Moments” tab to see the most important, human-curated tweets and Vines. Non-users can view Moments, too, both at Twitter.com and embedded on outside sites. Observe Marutaro, the best hedgehog online.
He outlines his concern about the effects on the brain in his book The Organised Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.
Levitin says each time we dispatch an email, we feel a sense of accomplishment, and our brain gets a dollop of reward hormones telling us we accomplished something. When we look at a Twitter feed or Facebook update, we encounter something novel and feel more connected socially (in a kind of weird, impersonal cyber way) and get another dollop of reward hormones.
Want to know what a supermoon is? Google has the answer. Want to know what your friend had for dinner? Facebook can fill you in.
It has never been easier to get information – it’s quite literally at our fingertips and it has become normal to know more about the daily habits of strangers on the internet than you do about your nearest and dearest.
We seem to be eager to plug into the overwhelming information the digital age has to offer us too: Facebook has over a billion registered accounts and Twitter around 316 million monthly active accounts.
Sherry Turkle is a singular voice in the discourse about technology. She’s a skeptic who was once a believer, a clinical psychologist among the industry shills and the literary hand-wringers, an empiricist among the cherry-picking anecdotalists, a moderate among the extremists, a realist among the fantasists, a humanist but not a Luddite: a grown-up. She holds an endowed chair at M.I.T. and is on close collegial terms with the roboticists and affective-computing engineers who work there. Unlike Jaron Lanier, who bears the stodgy weight of being a Microsoft guy, or Evgeny Morozov, whose perspective is Belarussian, Turkle is a trusted and respected insider. As such, she serves as a kind of conscience for the tech world.
Information overload can cause even the most tech-savvy tweeter to freeze up. With a never-ending stream of tweets scrolling across the screen, it can be difficult to zoom in on the conversations that matter and put blinders on to everything else.
Every time somebody says to me, “It’s so impressive how you manage to get writing done despite being on Facebook/Twitter/etc. all the time,” I cringe. I’ve been hit by a backhanded compliment. I’m surfing, tweeting and emailing — leaving my digital prints everywhere and probably picking up some nasty computer viruses — while serious writers are working pristinely, heroically beyond the clutches of the Internet. (more…)
Kids. The reckless rants and pictures they post online can often get them in trouble, by compromising their chances of getting into a good college or even landing them in jail. What to do about such lapses vexes parents, school officials, the Internet companies that host their words and images — and the law.
Even in an age of Twitter posts and Instagram photos, e-mail is still the way marketers reach the hearts — and wallets — of consumers. And that is why retailers are up in arms about Google’s latest tweak to Gmail.