Trends for 2010

#9 Digital disenchantment
Are you sinking in a sea of scurrilous spam? How about drowning in deluge of digital dross? The internet, and Web 2.0 in particular, are wonderful things, but there are digital downsides, notably the fact that people are suffering from too much distraction.

The result is computerized confusion on a grand scale. Our attention spans are dwindling (books are now seen by many younger generations as “too long”) and we seem unable to retain important information, such as home phone numbers, ATM PIN numbers, family birthdays and security codes. As for work, all some people seem to do is answer endless mails, only to be faced with yet more once they have dealt with the first batch.

Of course, you could use technology to solve most of these problems. Use RSS feeds or Google alerts to filter the amount of incoming information or simply switch off your email or mobile phone. But filtering seems to create even more information and switching off isn’t really an option when everyone else is still switched on and still expects an instant response.

People are seeking harmony with regard to their digital/analogue balance much in the same way that they are seeking work/life balance. One way to achieve this is to set clear boundaries about when you do certain things or when you use certain technologies. This will work up to a point but at some stage you will have to be more brutal. Switch your mobile off after 7.30pm. Don’t become “friends” with people you’ve never met and unblock your digital drain from time to time by disconnecting from unread or unused information.

BTW, I know I said something similar would happen last year and nothing much happened, but maybe I was 12-months early?

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