Today I started reading “What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains, The Shallows” and I feel that I am on the other side of the experience. I have been through the passion for new content, the passion to constantly write the new things that people write, and the need to be connected.
There was a time when to be connected, to be vigilitant, to be attentive, was rewarded by friendships, meetings in the real world, and at the very least conversations on social media.
These rewards were engaging, and that’s why our attention span was seconds or minutes rather than hours or days. That’s why we constantly refreshed and needed to be active.
Today we are on the other side. This is most clearly demonstrated by the need for current affairs websites to send us notifications. Look at the Apple Watch, look at the notifications pain on your phone. Look at your e-mail account. How many ignored notifications are present?
During the COVID-19 Pandemic I gave up on Facebook because the ROI became so low that it became rewarding not to use the site but that’s a digression.
When you don’t look for notifications you have time to achieve goals. You have the time to learn CSS, to learn one framework, and then another, and then another one after that. You have the time to study on Coursera and much more besides. You also have the opportunity to live in the moment, no matter how void it may be.
I am at just 3 percent read in this book but already I feel that it is a historical artefact reflecting how people felt about technology at one time, rather than how they feel about it now.
Today Google turns 22, and with that I think that Google is a force for good. In their IT support course on Coursera they push that they want to hire a diverse group of people. Google has and always will be about acquiring and sharing knowledge and this benefits society.
Remember how Tim Berners Lee wanted to make computers talk between each other across networks and operating systems? Google is the step after that. Once all the computers are sharing information you need to find a way to find and organise that data. That is what Google has brought to its users over its twenty-two-year existence. Facebook, not Google, makes us stupid.