The New York Review of Books had the best take I’ve seen on social media’s intrusion into our lives and what we can do about it. Here’s Madeleine Bunting, formerly a journalist at The Guardian and the author of four books, including The Plot: A Biography of an English Acre(2009).
Today, as we grapple with a pervasive new digital culture, attention has become an issue of pressing social concern. Technology provides us with new tools to grab people’s attention. These innovations are dismantling traditional boundaries of private and public, home and office, work and leisure. Emails and tweets can reach us almost anywhere, anytime. There are no cracks left in which the mind can idle, rest, and recuperate. A taxi ad offers free wifi so that you can remain “productive” on a cab journey.
That’s the challenge. Now, click on the image above for Bunting’s take and what she calls her “risky experiment in attention” coming in part from an experience she had in London’s East End Shoreditch neighborhood, where I happened to have spent time earlier this week in preparation for Round Earth meetings in London.
I’d love to hear what you think!