Dave Pell (“Tweetage Wasteland”) describes a condition in which more of us are finding ourselves:
“My phone tells me numbers, Facebook reminds me of birthdays, my nav system gives me directions, Google tells me how to spell, my bookmarks remind me of what I’ve read, my inbox tells me who I’m having a conversation with – my mind has been distributed across several devices and services.
My head is in the cloud.
Now, after a few years of this, I realize that when I look up from the screen I know almost nothing. And maybe that would be fine if the absent phone numbers and upcoming dates were freeing space for deeper and more introspective thought. But I sense that my addiction to the realtime stream is only making room for the consumption of a faster stream.”
Yeah, I think about that, too. But I’m not sure I would have remembered all of that stuff without the cloud and my connections to it.
On a somewhat related note… my Facebook “cancellation” takes effect on Sunday. I canceled my account a few weeks ago. FB gave me the option of “deactivation” but I said, no, please delete my account. Seems FB makes you wait a few weeks, in hopes you will come to your senses.
I wouldn’t normally give such a decision a second thought but Facebook has become The Place (for the time being) and I should probably be there. But I’m not. And don’t expect to be. But I’ve come up with a rationalization:
We have a finite amount of time and attention. It’s impossible to be in every social space. Assuming that everyone on the planet is –or soon will be– on Facebook, taking a pass will protect the little attention I have left.