Can we be productive in a world full of constant updates? Will we adapt or will we burn out? Linda Stone and William Powers at AIF 2011
Our conversation is about productivity with a focus on output and quantity. What if we shifted our conversation to one about engagement, with a focus on outcomes and quality?
Our focus has been on technologies as prosthetics for the mind, and human-as-machine style productivity. This has led to burn-out, poor health, poor sleep, and what I call email apnea or screen apnea. We wonder where our attention has gone. Turns out, it’s right where we left it — with our ability to breathe fully. What if technology became a prosthetic for our beings?
Watching Cameron Carpenter play the organ is a transcendant experience. It’s as if he’s “lit.” The organ just sits there, and Carpenter’s body exudes a powerful energy. Most of us, when we interact with digital technologies, “merge” our energies with the device, exhausting ourselves. Experienced musicians don’t do this. In the evolution of our relationship with digital devices, we have a lot to learn from experienced musicians.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been noticing that about a third of people walking, crossing streets, or standing on the sidewalk, are ON their cell phones. In most cases, they are not just talking; they are texting or emailing — attention fully focused on the little screen in front of them. Tsunami warning? They’d miss it.
For many of us, our evolving relationship with technology in a 24/7, mobile, always-connected world, traps us in a hyper-focus on the screen, and a blindness to the rich world around us.
Our relationships with our SmartPhones, and this wicked habit that many of us, of walking or driving while texting or talking, hold us in a state of perpetual inattentional blindness.
Personal technologies today are prosthetics for our minds. Our opportunity is to create personal technologies that are prosthetics for our beings. Conscious computing is post-productivity, post-communication era computing. Personal technologies that enhance our lives. Personal technologies that are prosthetics of our full human potential.
The Internet stole my body, now a lifeless form hunched in front of a glowing screen. My senses dulled as my greedy mind became one with the global brain we call the Internet.
Distraction and procrastination come in a variety of flavors. I’ve noticed that when I’m “distracted,” and I walk over and stare out the window, it’s a very different experience than when I feed the distraction by cramming in a few emails or make a phone call. How often do you let your mind wander? AreContinue reading “When Distraction is Good”