Larry Port of Rocket Matter (an online SaaS legal case management service) presented at MILOfest 2010. Larry started by talking about the change in our lives caused by our connected culture.
Pretend it’s 1987. Don’t tweet. Don’t go online. Don’t use your computer.
Think about how things have changed from 1987 to the present:
- 1998 Google starts
- 2008 Facebook hits 100,000,000 users
- 2008 Text messaging linked to train collision.
- 2009 A teenager walks into a manhole while texting.
- 2009 5474 death linked to distracted driving.
Now in 2010, online use is change our culture and our lives!
- Privacy is being eroded.
- Bullying which used to be restricted to the school yard is now a 24/7 activity.
- If you use e-readers (Kindle, Nook, etc), the publisher knows what you are reading, what you are highlighting, and the exact page you are on.
- The government wants to expand wiretapping to Skype and other online services. Note: you may want to look in to EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) which monitors privacy erosion.
The internet is actually changing your brain. A study found that heavy web users have heavy activity in the left pre-frontal cortex. When web novices were trained in heavy web use, their pre-frontal cortex also lit up. This is the same part of the brain that is used for hunting and gathering.
The problem is heavy web users were shown distractions during the study, their attention was shifted from the task to the distraction. Put another way, web surfers are more likely to be distracted – and we are becoming trained to be distracted.
What can you do about this?
- Read a book. No, really! Books are sequential. They don’t have hyperlinks (which you have to choose not to click on). They don’t have banner ads or “punch the monkey” flash ads.
- Use a “no-distraction” timer. Set a timer for 25 minutes. Until the timer rings, no twitter, no email, no web, no phone calls, no interruptions from co-workers or anyone else. JUST WORK! Use the 25 minutes to get things done.
Check out Responsibly Connected for more.
MILOfest is an annual conference for Mac based law firms.