The bigger the gift, the better the gift, at least that’s how it used to be. Today, that notion is the complete reverse.
Kids want tablets and iPhones, not toys and clothing. The smaller and thinner the packaging, the better the gift.
Everything (computer, TV, Internet, video games, wallet, etc) is converging into tiny devices. Kids don’t differentiate between screens and reality, first screen and second screen, touch and feel.
What’s in that small gift is their future edited life.
“In an environment where we are constantly overstimulated, it’s hard to find ways to engage when the noise shuts down.”
We’re always entertained if we have our Internet-connected devices around. There’s intentionally something to do: socialize on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, check email, play a game, view new apps, read, browse the net, SMS, and so on.
We can go in and out of the list above all day because there’s always new content.
The only time we really get bored is when we don’t have our devices. That’s when we get really antsy. We start thinking about all the things we’re missing online and how great it’s going to feel when we can reconnect.
But when we remove the devices and let the mind actually pursue ennui and wonder, we actually begin to ponder about our environment. We also realize how fast our mind shifts between different thoughts.
Meditation is a great way to challenge boredom and refocus the mind. The constant bombardment of uncontrollable thoughts during meditation reminds us of how vulnerable our brains are to distraction and how susceptible we are to quick fix attention through addictive technology.
It’s hard to get back to a state of boredom in a hyper-connected world. We can hardly remember what we did in dull moments pre-Internet. Boredom is now something we have to control and practice deliberately, not the other way around.
The best part about the basic, non-tablet Kindle is the constricted reading environment.
Reading on the Kindle is pure joy simply because there’s no other feasible distractions. The Internet browsing experience on the Internet is purposely bad. There’s also no apps.
It’s no mistake Amazon wants you to focus on reading and buy more books. That’s why the Kindle is only $119.
Apple may own the hyper-connected tablet and smartphone market but Amazon built a device dedicated to reading. As long as Amazon keeps the Kindle simple and distraction free, it’s got a continued breadwinner.
Growing up the pencil was always used for math and the pen for just about everything else. The reasoning was simple: you were more likely to make a mistake. Sometimes we took tests without calculators, completely smearing the scrap paper.
Pencils also required sharpening. Students would go up to the front of the class and shave their pencil as if they were giving it a haircut. Some kids made the end tips knife sharp, others left the pencil head a bit rounder.
The pen relieved much of the pain that came from scrawling with pencil. The pen’s tip was smoother and made writing rhythmic. When we ran out of ink, we simply found a replacement pen.
Then came the computer. Why go through the trouble of writing something down that will need to be reproduced on the computer? Nevertheless, students still vacillated between handwriting and typing. Some people thought better with pen and paper.
But then came the touch screen mobile and tablet, obviating the need for penmanship. Instant mobile communications replaced handwriting and grammar. “You’re” is now “ur” and it’s always lowercase, even at the beginning of a sentence.
Handwriting will go extinct in about a decade unless the pen goes digital. Word on the street is that Apple is creating a stylus, recreating the handwriting experience on a digital screen.
Taking notes with existing stylus models is currently a challenge. Our digital writing bleeds because can’t keep our wrist and pen on the page at the same time.
From pencil, pen, Internet-less keyboard, to the hyper connected keyboard of mobile, to the potential reemergence of utensil writing with the digital stylus, writing has been fragmented. And don’t think that’s the end of it. With Siri, you may not have to write anything at all. #dictation