nedzen     Sat, Dec 17, 2011  Permanent link
Thank you for this article, and the whole series, I think they fit very well into the grand picture of our current state of affairs with and within the internet.

I will try to outline a few things regarding the consuming and dehumanizing characteristic of the internet. The way chemicals are released in the brain of an interconected user is being changed by the virtual environment. He can receive spikes of dopamine at the sight of the red counter of fb notif/ msgs or when hearing the email sound or mentions on twitter or when finds some article which of course interests him; the ways are numerous to receive spikes of dopamine (little chemical gratifications from our brains).

what is most important I think is being able to function within a desired framework of personal choice. If the individual can't hold himself from checking facebook and twitter than there are programs meant to restrict access to these services (see self controll) or when you need to focus on the task at hand for 40 minutes or so to get something done, there is focus booster and the list of "control apps" can go on. I think we will build better more intelligent programs of this sort that will be able to hold our compulsive behavior and this can come from the neuro headset / neuro imaging field.

Imagine wearing a headset and a wrist band that gives you little shocks every time you let your attention drift to fb. (maybe electric shocks is not the best way to stay away from fb but you get my point.) . Meditation, and mindfulness yes I totally agree with you but to what extent ? how many hours per day you have to stay still and meditate in order to gain your dose of mindfulness / self control. it`s very relative and diferes from person to person. Maybe the solution is somewhere in between, mindfulness as a general state of being and a digital personal assistent/coach that will guard your actions and help you reach your goals.