22 June 2012

The Internet is directing my life

Jack Cheng, who I have just stumbled upon, has written a really thoughtful blog post on the Slow Web, clarifying the ways in which we are often battered by the internet and our web-connected worlds. We lose control of the tools we meant to use for better communication and increased efficiency. His description of the Fast Web is spot-on:

What is the Fast Web? It’s the out of control web. The oh my god there’s so much stuff and I can’t possibly keep up web. It’s the spend two dozen times a day checking web. The in one end out the other web. The web designed to appeal to the basest of our intellectual palettes, the salt, sugar and fat of online content web. It’s the scale hard and fast web. The create a destination for billions of people web. The you have two hundred twenty six new updates web. Keep up or be lost. Click me. Like me. Tweet me. Share me. The Fast Web demands that you do things and do them now. The Fast Web is a cruel wonderland of shiny shiny things.

I often notice my email Inbox turning into my to-do list, and make efforts to counteract that (filter useful subscriptions, try to keep my Inbox at Zero, reply quickly as often as possible, Boomerang action items when necessary). Cheng also differentiates between Information and Knowledge, and breaks down how our processing of input from our lives can be distracting or productive.

I look forward to reading more of his writing, and thinking more about the bigger picture of how the internet fits into my life.