Me neither.

Thinking back, we must have passed the threshold sometime towards the end of the last decade. After MySpace had done it’s thing, but before your parents signed up for Facebook.

Perhaps the financial imperatives of startup culture make the web unhealthy. All those addictive notifications and red circles with numbers in… yes I’d like to know that someone commented on my status update, but I don’t need to know RIGHT NOW, YOU HAVE COMMENT, MUST CHECK.

Worse still, our channels of conversations are increasingly owned by corporations by Facebook, and we’ve become trapped in silos of people-who-think-like us:

The next generation of social technology needs to build bridges, pop filter bubbles, & rebuild our attention spans. It's up to us, not them!

I think maybe Silicon Valley made the internet wrong.

If you’ve read any decent sci-fi (I’d suggest Iain M Bank’s Culture novels for starters) you’ll be familiar with a kind of connectivity that doesn’t interrupt your flow.

Imagine an AI assistant that acts as a proxy between you and the web. Only interrupting your day when something truly merited your attention, instead of every time @jonny94 uploaded another holiday photo. Fetching information when you needed it, not when the information thought it needed you.

Yes, we can turn notifications off, quit social media, use internet blockers, or retreat to our cabin (porn) ((on Pinterest)).

But why should we have to?

Why can’t the web be distraction-free by default, instead of being distraction-max?

Posted to Life in 2016.

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