Reading this made me think about the wisdom of an increasing number of people who are declaring email bankruptcy. They no longer attempt to stay up to date with every email that wedges its way into their inbox. They are selective in how they choose to spend the time. The greatest virtue of this, in my view, is the space this creates for them to think, to contemplate, and to innovate.
Some of the choice quotes from Douglas’ article include:
- The Internet pushes us all toward the immediate
- … immediacy masquerading as relevancy
- … denies me access to the moment in which I am really living
- The now-ness of the Internet engenders impulsive, unthinking responses over considered ones, and a tendency to think of communications as a way to bark orders or fend off those of others
- I feel as though I speeding up, when I am actually just becoming less productive, less thoughtful, and less capable of asserting any agency over the world in which I live
- I am increasingly in a distracted present
I don’t necessarily buy these arguments: I will have to read at length and refute, I bet. Another ‘the internet is making us dumb, inattentive, uncaring, flighty, narcissistic, etc.’ screed.
But I like ‘living in the present tense’ as a hook.