Are you sufficiently alarmed about the prospect of Internet and/or technological addiction? Because solicitous local tabloid the New York Daily News has gathered up all the symptoms of nomophobia, or the fear of being without one’s smartphone, for all the hypochondriacs out there.
Among the signs:
Diana Adams dreams in tweets. One hundred and forty characters at a time, the Atlanta-based computer consultant’s subconscious bubbles up. “Sometimes I am literally sending someone a message on Twitter and sometimes the ideas just kind of come out that way,” she told Betabeat recently.
On most nights Ms. Adams wakes up two or three times to check her Twitter stream and reply to @ messages from her nearly 50,000 followers. “I sleep with my phone under my pillow,” she confessed. “But if you think that’s bad, you don’t know any real Twitterholics.”
Living among media-obsessed New Yorkers, including some who employ two computers, one for work and one for TweetDeck, Betabeat assured her we did know a little something about the siren song of the micro-messaging service. “If I’m away from Twitter for more than an hour or two, I get nervous and break into a sweat,” she countered. O.K., we admitted, you win.
Couric, Out? Per The Hollywood Reporter, Katie Couric is done with ABC and could be headed to, uh, Yahoo. Yes, your mom’s favorite talk show host is being courted by your mom’s homepage in a deal that would “pump up the Internet giant’s media presence.” Ms. Couric is said to be negotiating an early exit from her Read More
Law and Order
Leaning Out of Tumblr Jessica Bennett, the Tumblr employee who was laid off with the shuttering of Storyboard, announced today on Twitter that she’s taken a job with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. “Turns out being fired ain’t that bad,” she tweeted, along with a link to a Facebook post by Ms. Sandberg herself announcing Ms. Bennett’s hiring:
“So excited to welcome Jessica Bennett to the Lean In team! Jessica is joining us to run Editorial – helping us connect women all over the world with their passion for leaning in! Special thanks to Nell Scovell and Rachel Sklar for introducing us to Jessica!”
How much leaning in was required to land that job?
There are many ways to obtain Internet access, particularly as a college student in the United States. If you don’t have a laptop, you can always go to the university library, or borrow a friend’s computer. Or, if you’re an unidentified 18-year-old University of Georgia student, you can break into a woman’s house in order to chill on her couch and browse Facebook on her laptop.
Brand Meets GIFs
This is a guest post by Shanley Kane. It was originally published on her blog Pretty Little State Machine and is republished here with her permission. Ms. Kane works in product management and enterprise software in San Francisco and is interested in culture studies, the developer community and television for fun. You can (and should!) follow her on Twitter here.
Toxic lies about culture are afoot in Silicon Valley. They spread too fast as we take our bubble money and designer Powerpoints to drinkups, conferences and meetups all over the world, flying premium economy, ad nauseam. Well-intentioned darlings south of Market wax poetic on distributed teams, office perks, work/life balance, passion, “shipping”, “iteration,” “freedom.” A world of startup privilege hides blithely unexamined underneath an insipid, self-reinforcing banner of meritocracy and funding. An economic and class-based revolt of programmers against traditional power structures within organizations manifests itself as an (ostensively) radical re-imagining of work life. But really, you should meet the new boss. Hint: he’s the same as the old boss.
The monied, celebrated, nuevo-social, 1% poster children of startup life spread the mythology of their cushy jobs, 20% time, and self-empowerment as a thinly-veiled recruiting tactic in the war for talent against internet giants. The materialistic, viral nature of these campaigns have redefined how we think about culture, replacing meaningful critique with symbols of privilege. The word “culture” has become a signifier of superficial company assets rather than an ongoing practice of examination and self-reflection.
Well, the whole Internet it tweeting about Vine (a dildo in your eye first thing in the morning will do that). And while we gather that Twitter’s newly-launched video sharing service is going to be a major time suck for everyone from casual users to Twitter itself, it may not be a waste of time for brands, which have already adopted the service into their social media marketing plans.
Quora is the site where headsdown homebodies ask other sheltered types questions like, “What are some things I’d be shocked to learn about the outside world?” But now that Quora is over three years old, it seems as if they’re finally going into the real heavy stuff.
A question posed under the topic “Murder,” asked, “What does it feel like to murder someone?” Some inmates from San Quentin State Prison opened themselves up, providing deeply personal answers that offered up something rare on Quora: a glimpse of life far, far away from the tech bubble.
It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It
While riding the school bus one sun-dappled morning, a boy named Foster Gamble—heir to the bountiful Procter and Gamble fortune—had a strange vision that would permanently alter the course of his life. In the glare of the sun, Mr. Gamble, who was then 14, claims he spotted a whirlpool pattern that he would eventually determine to be the “torus,” an energy vortex that he believes could be the key to understanding the universe.
“I just knew that the flow of energy I was seeing was the same in the atom, as in our entire solar system,” the steely-eyed Mr. Gamble declares in his feature-length documentary Thrive: What on Earth Will It Take?, which debuted online to much skepticism and some derision in late 2011. “I felt deeply that I too was somehow made of that pattern. This vision was what originally got me into science.”
If you’re reading this on your phone, maybe you should put the phone down and spend some time with your family/girlfriend/dog. Kidding! Keep reading Betabeat, please.
However, the New York Times reports that an increasing number of Silicon Valley execs are starting to wonder whether maybe they should be telling you to step away from the Internet every once in a while. After getting us all well and truly hooked, they’re now pondering whether maybe the implications of constant connection aren’t as wholly utopian as they expected.
You don’t say.