Double Edged Swords, Indeed

I've been thinking a lot over the last couple of years about the impact of always-with-us-and-always-connected-computers and the software we run on them, primarily Social Network/Attention Demanding apps.

Two items came across my feeds the other day:

The more time people spend on social media, the more prone they become to recency bias, and especially the form of recency bias that inclines us to believe that what has just happened is far more important that it really is.

Everyone everywhere is prone to recency bias, but I think we are more prone to it than any society in history because our media are so attentive to the events of Now, and we are so immersed in those media that anything that happened more than a week or so ago is consigned to the dustbin of history. The big social-media companies function as what I have called the Ministry of Amnesia, and the result is that we lack temporal bandwidth. Unless we work hard to cultivate that temporal bandwidth, we won’t have the “personal density” to resist the amnesia-producing forces that make us think that whatever happens today is more important than anything that has ever happened.

How Change Happens, by Alan Jacobs


Teaching complicated ideas to people on a phone is like trying to teach geography to a bunch of sugared-up kids who just had a triple espresso, while they are standing on one foot being bitten by a swarm of mosquitos.

There could be a direct correlation between smart phone usage and underinformed mass behavior.

Sometimes it’s worth opening up a laptop and slowing down just a bit.

Yes, opening up a laptop might count as slowing down a bit.

On One Foot, by Seth Godin

The always-on, always-connected lifestyle is having its impact. I'm not sure we can know yet if it's something we will adapt to, or something we will have to reign in, but it's a sharp instrument, and at least at the moment, it lacks a handle.