Tag Archives: social media

Jeneral findings of the week: 2014-11-23

Good/interesting/provoking finds I’ve stumbled across this week. 2014-11-23.

  • Barbie F*cks It Up Again – A brilliant deconstruction of why this book about how Barbie wants to become a computer engineer is a big fail and demonstrates yet again the underlying sexist attitudes towards women in IT. Hilarious and provokes outrage at the same time, it’s not something you’d want to expose to your daughters without careful context.
  • Helen Jane’s Mom 2.0 Presentation: Solutions for a painful internet – Originally created as a presentation deck, it nevertheless has impact and suggested prescription for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed by the changes social media has brought to our lives.
  • A teacher and administrator from Calgary writing a story about encounters with parents about THAT kid, and the teacher’s follow up on the reaction. A message underlying the empathy we all need for each others’ children, and each other as parents and teachers. I can only hope that the majority of teachers that my kids will encounter will be like this teacher.


Next week’s findings–>

Your brain on persistent social media

A long read from David Roberts, a star political blogger for Grist.org, but contains so many well-written nuggets on various things I too have been contemplating these last few months.


Some particular quotes highlighting that I’m trying to be mindful of, and also plan to educate our kids about:

All my in-between moments, the interstitial transitions and pauses that fill the cracks of a day, were crowded with pings. My mind was perpetually in the state that researcher and technology writer Linda Stone termed continuous partial attention. I was never completely where I was, never entirely doing what I was doing. I always had one eye on the virtual world.

Because most Web services are “free”—that is, supported by advertising—their very survival depends on distracting and bewitching their users. Silicon Valley software engineers design apps that way on purpose; they’re quite clever at it. Because America’s culture of professional overwork and exhaustion is unrestrained by workplace regulations or conventions governing e-mail, unceasing connectivity has become an unspoken job requirement. Because social groups coalesce and plan online, even brief screenless periods breed FOMO, the fear of missing out.

Nature provides what University of Michigan psychologist Stephen Kaplan has termed soft fascinations. (Dibs on the band name.) We are shaped by evolution to heed the ebb and flow of drifting clouds, rustling grass, and singing birds. Unlike voluntary or directed attention—the kind required by, say, a spreadsheet—“effortless attention” produces no fatigue. It’s the mental equivalent of floating on your back, and a rested mind is a more productive mind.