Habits are hard to break and even harder to build. Well, wait let me rephrase: they are exceptionally easy to build if they’re algorithmically driven. But us mere humans struggle to do it the old fashioned way.
This morning, in the New York Times, was a great article about an Italian restaurant in New York City’s east village. Customers were distracted. They spent entire meals on phones. What could be done? The owner considered a few options: offering to “check” their phones at the hostess table? (Nah) How about having the waitress offer to take them? (Even worse) What about buying vintage tins from Etsy, placing them on the table, and allowing patrons to discover them, and their use, at their own pace? Bingo.
I have to admit, I’m so happy to see this trend.
Last week I got a new phone and all of the notifications were set to default: in other words, ALARMINGLY obnoxious. I posted an Instagram photo and every single time I got a like, I was notified. That’s over 100 notifications! Throughout the week I started to feel laggard. I was checking my phone even more than usual. My battery was drained (on a new phone)!
Last night, when a stranger “liked” my photo. I had had enough. I went into settings and silenced them all.
I work in technology, but I hate the way technology demands to own my attention and the cadence of my life.
So on I go trying to fight the algorithmic habits with good old fashioned discipline: Settings > Notifications > Mute All.
A few weeks ago I made a visit to the New York Times newsroom. Walking past a cubicle, I was introduced to Bill Keller, the Editor-in-Chief. Upon learning I work at Twitter, he said back, “I’m actually writing a piece about Twitter right now.”
My version of family dinner happens anytime after 9pm – on a weeknight, with food or without food, at my quiet NYC apartment. Sitting in front of my roommate’s flat screen TV. Matching silver laptops in front of us and on the coffee table – a pair of iPhones. Eyes dodging back-and-forth between browsers and broadcast. Browser and broadcast. Browser and phone.
Tonight I decided to type BrianSolis.com into my browser. I guess I wanted to know what was happening in his world. I like Brian because he is smart and savvy and really dedicated to sharing new ideas and information. I would say that’s why Brian is one of my digital educators. A person who bends my mind to think about what changes in technology mean to our society, our lives, our industries. And tonight I got just that when I read this line.
“In this episode (of BrianSolis TV), Michael Fertik, founder and CEO of Reputation Defender, joins the program to discuss privacy and the reasons why you and everyone who matters to you, will be unfairly, but forever judged by what’s online.”
The statement, in that very instant, made me think about and question to what extent people might unfairly judge me.