September 07, 2008

Are social networks -- continuous partial friendship? read Linda Stone on Continuous Partial Attention Linda Stone has some good thoughts and timely warning messages on this topic, here. Linda also blogs at the Huffington Post. Quote: "Continuous partial attention is an always on, anywhere, anytime, any place behavior that creates an artificial sense of crisis. To pay continuous partial attention is to pay partial attention -- CONTINUOUSLY. It is motivated by a desire to be a LIVE node on the network. Another way of saying this is that we want to connect and be connected. We want to effectively scan for opportunity and optimize for the best opportunities, activities, and contacts, in any given moment. To be busy, to be connected, is to be alive, to be recognized, and to matter. We pay continuous partial attention in an effort NOT TO MISS ANYTHING. It is an always-on, anywhere, anytime, any place behavior that involves an artificial sense of constant crisis. We are always in high alert when we pay continuous partial attention. This artificial sense of constant crisis is more typical of continuous partial attention than it is of multi-tasking..." Sounds familiar to us bloggers... right? "More and more, many of us feel the "shadow side" of cpa -- over-stimulation and lack of fulfillment. The latest, greatest powerful technologies are now contributing to our feeling increasingly powerless. Researchers are beginning to tell us that we may actually be doing tasks more slowly and poorly... Our opportunity: remembering to find the OFF switch on our devices, now and then, and tune in to the present with engaged attention"
The iPhone Attention Vortex - my iPhone experiences so far I have had my 3G iPhone for about 4 weeks now and it has been an amazing learning experience. No, not just because I was learning how to deal with the stupendous battery problems, constant app crashes and outrageous roaming charges, but because I am trying to deal with the one big paradigm change that digital mobility and in particular this little Apple box has ushered into our lives: the drastic expansion of the Attention Vortex. I can now do things on the mobile 'phone' that have never really been possible before; keeping me even more 'connected', distracted and mentally busy than ever before. Suddenly, here's an even easier way to read and share my 850+ RSS feeds (ouch... I can hear you say), check Friendfeed updates, tweet everything, read some longer columns, essays and even books via the totally cool instapaper app, browse my Facebook feed updates from my 1300+ cyber friends (yes... ouch, too), watch Youtube videos, draft and publish a blog post, or do another of the few dozen things that I have recently gotten into (plus look at my email and SMS). Yes, sure, I could do this before, too, on my good old Nokia e61 or my Blackberry or my EE PC. But this is another thing altogether: the iPhone's user interface and user experience is just so much more intuitive - and so much more tempting. An iPhone vortex so to speak. Only battery fatigue can save me now. Or, in the end, maybe Apple's bizarre desire to control it all? Anyway, this is all very cool and engaging stuff that is floating around me now. But still: I only have one brain. I only have 24 hours in a day. I only have a certain amount of attention to give. Never mind the...

Gerd Leonhard

Keynote Speaker, Think-Tank Leader, Futurist, Author & Strategist, Idea Curator, some say Iconoclast | Heretic, CEO TheFuturesAgency, Visiting Prof FDC Brazil, Green Futurist

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