Key takeaways

  • There is a rhythm to the day pre-internet: mail is delivered at a certain time, you read the newspaper once per day, etc. That rhythm is now lost.
  • “Previous technologies have expanded communication. But the last round may be contracting it.”
  • As a testiment to the truth in this essay, I found it REALLY hard to stay focused and finish the whole piece. All the time impulses to read the latest text message, check my email inbox, look up the author on Wikipedia…

We’re never really in solitude, but never really connecting to other individuals either:

I think of that lost world, the way we lived before these new networking technologies, as having two poles: solitude and communion. The new chatter puts us somewhere in between, assuaging fears of being alone without risking real connection. It is a shallow between two deep zones, a safe spot between the dangers of contact with ourselves, with others.

There is so much information that our ability to focus on any piece of it is interrupted by other information, so that we bathe in information but hardly absorb or analyse it.

My time does not come in large, focused blocks, but in fragments and shards. The fault is my own, arguably, but it’s yours too – it’s the fault of everyone I know who rarely finds herself or himself with uninterrupted hours. We’re shattered. We’re breaking up.