Allison Miller, aged 14, sends and receives 27,000 text messages a month. Hey, that’s only about sixty an hour, every hour she’s awake. Some say that the problem of our age is that continuous partial attention, this never ending non-stop distraction, addles the brain and prevents us from being productive. Not quite.
The danger is not distraction, the danger is the ability to hide. Constant inputs and unlimited potential distractions allow us to avoid the lizard, they give the resistance a perfect tool. Everywhere to run, everywhere to hide. The advantage of being cornered with nowhere to turn is that it leaves you face to face with the lizard brain, unable to stall or avoid the real work.
I’ve become a big fan of tools like Freedom, which effortlessly permit you to turn off the noise. An hour after you haven’t kept up with the world, you may or may not have work product to show as a result. If you don’t, you’ve just called your bluff, haven’t you? And if you do, then you’ve discovered how powerful confronting the fear (by turning off the noise) can be.
Ten years ago, no one was lost in this world. You had to play dungeons and dragons in a storm pipe to do that. Now there are millions and millions of us busy polishing our connections, reaching out, reacting, responding and hiding. What happens to your productivity (and your fear) when you turn it off for a while?
Mindjumpers created this graphic showing various social media happenings last year – interesting choices. You can go to their site to let ‘em know what they left out.
Phi Beta Iota: Click on the image to give it it’s own page, then click again to enlarge to full viewing size. They left out GroupOn, among others, but seeing this list, in combination with Seth’s Godin’s blog, reminds us that digital crack is alive and well and consuming our youngsters.
This is the 21st Century digital equivalent of 24-hour cable television as discussed by Bill McKibben in Missing Information.
This is the OPPOSITE of Clay Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus.