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Addicted to Acronyms

June 18, 2011

Image Found: The Squirrel Board

How Social Media Can Induce Feelings of  ‘Missing Out’

SHERRY TURKLE, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of “Alone Together,” says that as technology becomes ever more pervasive, our relationship to it becomes more intimate, granting it the power to influence decisions, moods and emotions.

“In a way, there’s an immaturity to our relationship with technology,” she said. “It’s still evolving.”

We are struggling with the always-on feeling of connection that the Internet can provide, she said, and we still need to figure out how to limit its influence on our lives. I asked Professor Turkle what people could do to deal with this stress-inducing quandary. She said she would tell herself to “get a grip and separate myself from my iPhone.”

Easier said than done. I’ve tried, but turning off my phone is nearly impossible — I’m not yet ready for that step.

That evening, though, I flipped the phone over to hide its screen. That helped me ignore what my friends were doing. I settled back to enjoy the evening, deciding not to venture out into the cold and misty night.

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FOMO Addiction: The Fear of Missing Out

By John M. Grohol, PsyD

As serendipity often strikes randomly, I was reading an article in The New York Times by Jenna Wortham the other day at the same time I was reading the chapter in Sherry Turkle’s new book, Alone Togetherabout people who fear they are missing out.

Teens and adults text while driving, because the possibility of a social connection is more important than their own lives (and the lives of others). They interrupt one call to take another, even when they don’t know who’s on the other line (but to be honest, we’ve been doing this for years before caller ID). They check their Twitter stream while on a date, because something more interesting or entertaining just might be happening.

It’s not “interruption,” it’s connection. But wait a minute… it’s not really “connection” either. It’s the potential for simply a different connection. It may be better, it may be worse — we just don’t know until we check.

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Fomo, or Fear of Missing Out. 

It’s motivation based on the understanding, the gut instinct, really, that life is meant to be lived, to have the marrow sucked out of it, to be carpe diemed as much as possible – as well the understanding that it’s much easier to keep doing things than to start doing things.  I was about 22 and going to college and working full time when I began to value the true importance of inertia and momentum.  When I was doing 10,000 things – even now, when I seem to be doing 10,000 things – and my partner says he has no idea how I get it all done, I say, it’s easy: just don’t stop.  Keep going and you can keep on going. 

Read the full article at Gravitas and Gratitude: a roadmap for the universal game of hide and seek

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One comment

  1. I dunno. Fur socks are kinda hot this time of year.



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