Testing out some of the tools on To Be
Dad hacks Donkey Kong game so his daughter gets to play as a Pauline and rescue Mario. Fitting ‘cause I just started playing Super Meat Boy.
I recently re-read this NYT article on the challenges of making friends after a certain age. Essentially, there are three factors that allow you to build strong friendships, and these are the ones that start to disappear as life matures:
- Repeated, unplanned interactions
- A setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other
I’m also reading Sketching User Experiences, and there’s a section on the ambient awareness that we used to have by tacking our work up on walls. Sketches and work in progress. People can just walk by, see what you’re up to, and spark a conversation.
Now-a-days, all that ambient awareness is digital. So let’s compare the two for a micro-sec.
- Because a lot of our work is digital, we’re less aware of any work in progress until someone explicitly shares it somewhere.
- In the digital world, this sharing is asynchronous; there’s more distance between you, me, and the work you’ve posted than in real-life.
- There’s more of a conscious effort in posting something online than in tacking it up on a wall.
- It seems like we post more things that we find than things that we create.
- Remember posting your status in your AIM chat? gChat? How is our Twitter-Insta-Face-Pin different from those chat status messages? It feels like there’s a gap there.
- The back of our e-books have the same cover. Same with our music.
- Do teenagers still decorate their walls with music posters?
So much of what we are experiencing has been digitized. The only way to see what everyone else is experiencing is to explicitly request it. The ambience is lost. The overhead for discovery and sharing is high enough to change the dynamics of leaving things out and tacking them up. And even when I see what you’ve posted digitally, sparks are of a different caliber.
Our pubescent technology has traded away this ambient awareness. Here’s to hoping that it comes back with the sparked conversations like an underdog in a feel-good movie.
With the advent of cell phones, we have the world in our pocket. It’s essentially a cacophony of ant colonies jibber jabbing whenever we open it.
When there’s a moment of silence, or a moment of down time, we take out the phone, and tap into the streams. What’s going on in the world? What did I miss while blinking?
The downside of this need to stay afloat our social feeds is that it’s an invitation for interruption. They are all externalized moments and ideas that we invite into the living room of our heads. Opening windows during a storm to let the rain pour in.
And eventually, this drowns out your inner voice. The internal motivations that might surface are quelled by the pecking pings of the crowd. You could be having an internal conversation, then ping, the crowd tugs at your shirt sleeve to say, pay attention to me. me me meme.
New school channel surfing. A request for distraction. We’ve turned the surfing to be on glass in streams.
You can probably try to time-box when you allow the external world to be a distraction, and you can probably set boundaries on how you go about it.
But when it comes to new habits, the devil’s lurking in the details.
The things that are worthy of distraction from the external world are the things that people have actually spent time creating. ie. care and effort and insight should outweigh lolcats. Books over articles over status updates. Movies over YouTube videos.
The few amazing things have ruined everything else. For every single Charlie Bit My Finger, we’re willing to parcel out a thousand fragments of our attention to experience the next amazing. We have turned link-clicking into a gambling habit. What new, amazing, thing will I discover by clicking through?
It’s probably because we can’t comprehend the scale of amazing that is out there. We’ve been evolved to only have a local scale of sensory stimulation. But now that we can plug into this global feed of activity. The highs are too good to ignore. And we delegate each other to filter out the next fix hidden in the form of a link, a YouTube video, a GIF, or a witty quote and tweet. Pining for vines.
I’m not sure how this continues. Whether it’s considering the nutrition of information or cutting things out of my diet. It’s both a bit maddening and saddening. An accusation and—in many ways—a confession of blame.
I was at the library yesterday. Apparently, they encourage you to check in via FourSquare. Maybe the special is 50% off your late fees.
for one. (via Pfaffenbichler_Glasses)
chasin’ (via F )
fragments. (via John Powers)
loopy landing(via joz3pKU.gif)
time for gifs. (via Friendshop!)
I wish this was slower. gentler. less frantic and frenetic. (via DESTROY SOCIETY)
An old screen grab of event organizers using a ticket platform to sell event sponsorships instead of event tickets.