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We Need Better Filters, Smart Alerts

When I review the research and write about the intersection of human behavior and technology, I’m constantly amazed by how far we’ve come.

In just 5 years, social networks have become not only “all the rage,” but also a must-have for a significant portion of the U.S. population. In just 10 years, video online went from a mess of different, incompatible formats to YouTube and its competitors, revolutionizing the way many people engage with entertainment online (and to a lesser extent, information). In just 15 years, the Internet and technologies it has enabled has transformed not only many people’s workplaces, but the very connectedness and relationships we have with others.

Let that sink in for a few minutes. In just 15 years, a set of technologies has started a trend that won’t be stopped, changing the very ways we communicate and socially interact with others in our lives.

But for as great as it all is — and believe me when I say I still believe in the positive potential of the Internet — it still is leading us down social roads that make no sense.

Take, for instance, the prehistoric era we find ourselves in with smartphone alerts.

2 Comments to
We Need Better Filters, Smart Alerts

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  1. Thanks for the article. It’s true that social networking and iphones are changing the way we interact with each other. I think it’s great to reconnect to old friends from high school since I live so far away from them. But I have a problem with phones and how texting and the constant “eye on the phone” distracts from the here and now. I think it is so rude to be with someone who is always checking their texts b/c something else is very important. It’s also a big distraction at work if the phone and FB take over one’s life. It’s like you can’t live without being connected at all times. I think this could become a bigger issue, and could degrade the importance of face-to-face contact. B/c this is already an annoyance of mine, I try to adhere to my own advice.

  2. I don’t know that we need smarter devices, as I feel like it leading to less and less actual learning. The users of these devices just need to learn how to use these devices. If you don’t care about updated Facebook statuses, it really isn’t that hard to change the settings to remove texts about them, turn off the vibrate, etc. We also need to learn to be respectful with these devices and teach our children those values.



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