Co-authored with Clive Thompson
At One Zero, we recently discussed the “efficiency delusion” in tech — the mistaken belief that removing “effort, steps, and hassle” always makes things better. We’re continuing the conversation here by talking about communication. The main question on our minds is this: When should communication be slowed down?
The following is an edited excerpt that captures the flavor of a recent dialog.
Evan Selinger: You recently said something that’s very interesting about how things have changed during the transition from your last book, Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better…
Earlier this month, during a visit to a YMCA in London, Prince Harry argued that Fortnite should be banned, complaining that the video game is “created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible.” The prince is just the most recent in a long line of folks who worry about what digital technology is doing to our brains. …
“Everyone does it.”
These were the words from my college-aged daughter when I caught her lounging on our couch, streaming Friends with 24-point closed captioning on. She has no hearing impairment, and I wanted to know what she was up to.
Does “everyone” do it? My wife and I turned to Facebook and a private, nationwide group for parents with near-adult children. “Anyone else’s college student (without a hearing disability) watch TV with the closed captioning on and insist that everyone does it?” my wife posted. Seven hundred responses (and counting) later, we had our answer.
“It helps me with…
Bleep. Bloop. Buzz. It feels like notifications are inescapable, constant, and growing in number every day, no matter what we do about them. We’re all spending hours of our day staring into our phones, because they’re designed to pull us in: a dopamine hit released when your phone buzzes is all it takes.
Despite the research suggesting that notifications, and the resulting overuse of smartphones, are causing serious mental health issues globally, little is being done about it. There’s been no meaningful change to notifications in 10 years, and technology companies aren’t being held liable.
The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.