Wednesday, October 6, 2010

the conversation?

Did you ever think of yourself as being amusing? We forget sometimes. Life is so serious and all.
(image by Gapingvoid)

Of course the more serious we take ourselves the less fun we are likely to be. Ah. Yes quite a revelation. I didn't mean that we have to be entertaining all the time by any means, but by golly we might as well be pleasing. I mean why not? (Apparently researchers have developed the means to automatically find "trolls" on internet posts who are in need of anger-management: read here)

In several conversations with (online) friends and the hubbaliscious, a trend of what-we-would-like-to-see versus oh-I-actually-meant-that and yikes-I'd-rather-be-doing-this-instead was popping up. Our abilities to "play nice" are getting a bit frayed. If on twitter we can only have 140 characters and on Facebook a bit more, the fact that we reduce the message by shortening it doesn't necessarily imply that the reader "gets" what we're broadcasting. Not anymore. And also: if we are feeling frustrated, tired or what-have-you, why take it out on other people?

Most people are in a hurry. The "information absorption rate" is dropping. The ability to cope and showing signs of irritability have increased a lot across the board. So, do we still have time for each other? Can we make time to "chill out"? Ah yes. Prioritizing. And saying: no. And thank you. Please?

As Fastcompany puts it: "Constant connectivity means we are constantly distracted. It's now difficult to be truly alone. As a result we never get a chance to think deeply about who we are and where we are going. This links to Nicholas Carr's point in The Shallows that our thinking is becoming hurried, cursory and superficial. Interesting counter-point here. We have never been so connected and yet U.S. research is showing that we have never felt so alone.
24/7 access to everything is creating a culture that values immediacy over and above almost everything else. We can no longer wait for things to happen. Again, this can give rise to a lack of rigour and reflection but it can also cause serious mistakes. I'd predict a single-tasking movement as a reaction against multi-tasking.
Digitalisation is creating too much information and choice. There is now so much to consider that we take shortcuts to knowledge."
(except taken from post: Mind map of the Digital Age.)
So, all the more reason to unhook ourselves from the web, and return to the actual world. My favorite pastime is at home, sitting in a grass field in the sun in my farm overalls, watching the goats and highland calfs gently chew their cud, not showing a sign of worry in the world. They look content, calm and healthy. Escapism or not, it beats playing Farmville on Facebook any day of the week.

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