Hopelessly absorbed

We photograph everything and observe nothing. We consume the Instagram feed, and then feel inadequate for doing so.

Human behavior is predictable, robotic. Acknowledging peak screen further cements a broken will — even the most mindful urge won't let us put our devices down.

We've officially extended digital into our cells, with the reality forthcoming. From the iWatch to iSkin, the future is implanted. From neuron to neuron, we'll check email and change the tv channel with the flick of a thought.

Digital succeeds in numbing the pain, without acknowledging what's going in our own heart.

Mind over matter, what's the matter with our mind?

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All the internet’s a stage

via giphy

We can all assume that a social media persona is different than that in real life. Writes Jonathan Crossfield in Chief Content Officer Magazine: “Strategy or no strategy, all social media is artifice and spin.”

No one is going to post in public what they Google in private. We'd rather tweet about playing 18 holes than revealing a Saturday afternoon doing the dishes.

We curate our avatars, acting like celebrities and influencers to build up our personal brands.

If Instagram and Twitter present an edited version of life, reality is a theater full of false mirrors and digital half-truths.

We create the appearance of authenticity online

We invent polished experiences so we can share them. We manipulate the public microphone to project the best self, even if that ephemeral five-second clip disappears the next day.

All the internet's a stage. As online entertainers, it is no surprise that we often fail to live up to the shinier version of ourselves offline. Screens provide neither knowledge nor truth so the personal image never gets accurately reflected.

We set the bar too high like the movies, performing a Hollywood script that injects a personal image into a mirror that we cannot touch.

Shouldn't we be the one that we are?

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Is adult playtime over?

Adults can't handle free time — unstructured activity makes them anxious.

From high school on, all people are trained to do is work. So they forget how to play.

Yet, children always seem to find a creative outlet. They have no problem building something out of Legos or using their imagination to draw.

On the contrary, the adult version of playtime usually consists of material consumption. We work to buy things we can enjoy when we are not working. Americans cling to purchases as a substitute for boredom.

When we get bored at our jobs, we procrastinate and chase down the nearest source of dopamine. We check email and social media to appear “busy” at work.

Office environments can inspire a cycle of procrastination:

We live to work, and we work to live. We feel meaningless without a title and a checklist.

But what if the office was like a jungle gym or a treehouse where workers would want to play again?

Playtime may be over but it that doesn't mean the crayons need to end.

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Disattention is the new attention

A gif of a mask around a woman Silhouette with white eyes

There’s no cap on freedom of speech, nor is there one on attention. The latter, unfettered, encumbers our thinking with the juiciest of distractions.

Facts no longer keep attention. It’s all about the design, bluster, the infomercial, and the story. Distortion runs rampant because in the age of social media tribes bias controls the narrative. The downsizing from mass to niches means our grip on the world is more illusory than ever.

What information consumes is rather obvious. It consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.

Herbert Simon

Hiding behind our screens of self-promotion does nothing to generate change. A digital identity is full of artifice and spin.

The key to unlocking the facade is to see through its pixel-less value. Avatars are mere masks. The real world still needs impactful design, a far stretch from craving the irreality of a facelift.

gif by @elinanikkinen

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The sound of the future

First came the radio, then television, and now the pocket-sized smartphone. Each iteration seemed to enhance our addiction to glow. #gif
via giphy

We used to drive horses, then cabs, and now Uber. Ideas, hardly new, get retranslated to match the demands of modern times.

First came the radio, then television, and now the pocket-sized smartphone. Each iteration seemed to enhance our addiction to glow.

From snail mail to email, to instant messaging — this time is different they say, confusing progress with advancement.

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Hearts manipulated at scale

Hearts manipulated at scale. It's as if social media is a new religion. The double-tap ❤️ permeates everything, so much so we stopped going on vacation for pleasure and instead with a desire to accumulate likes. #socialmedia #addiction #technoloy #gif #iphone

Hearts manipulated at scale. It's as if social media is the new religion. The double-tap ❤️ permeates everything, so much so we stopped going on vacation for pleasure and instead with desire to accumulate likes.

Studies show that if your phone is in your field of vision you won't be able to resist it. Do you think you can go without your phone for a whole minute? No way! Not if it's within reach.

Over stimulation is an impediment to insight. Self-knowledge and new ideas percolate in disconnection. Yet it pains people even a minute to sit with their own thoughts.

The tug of war between consciousness and screen addiction is real. The lite brite is there to kill different avenues of thought. Fidget spinners are just sops. Give your mind permission to dodge the hook.

Art by @annasalmi

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Tumblr to ban “adult content” creators

Tumblr to ban "adult content" creators #art #tumblr
Tumblr to ban "adult content" creators #art #tumblr

I'm not surprised Apple banned Tumblr from its App Store for supporting a bunch of porn. But I am surprised Tumblr will ban the entire “adult content” category on December 17 so you won't see some of the more risque artsy images. Most creators will be hoping that the social network — driven primarily by advertising dollars — will continue to support creative expression.

As David Bowie once alluded to, the internet thrives and perhaps decays in the gray area

Art by hadar_pinchon & phoenix 

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