This introduction is roundabout, but it’s worth retracing my steps to Douglas Rushkoff and his new book, Present Shock. I’ll start by not writing about him at all.
I recently came across Mike Elgan, a technology journalist on Google+ with more than two million followers, via Twit.tv, an Internet broadcasting network that shows many great, fun netcasts that help me stay in the loop on tech and media. Some of my favorites include This Week in Tech, Macbreak Weekly, and The Social Hour. Elgan is prolific on Google+, and he posts more than seems humanly possible. Google+ has only my partial attention because most of my in real life friends and contacts are on other networks, but each time I check into Google+, I’m surprised and delighted by its elegant interfaces, the thriving communities, and how functionally complete it is. As an example, I can initiate a video hangout with anyone in my circles at a moments notice, all from my mobile device.
It’s through Elgan, who travels the world writing about technology and currently has his base camp in Valencia, Spain, that I heard about Douglas Rushkoff and his new book, Present Shock, via this posting.
(Side note: I typically skip comments posted after most articles that appear in blogs since I’ve seen too much trolling and flaming. Elgan’s followers and commenters are insightful and relevant and he’s lucky to have them.)
Digiphrenia is Rushkoff’s word for the split identities that come from having to participate in multiple social network platforms all at once. It feels like a real thing. There simply isn’t enough time to absorb even an infinitesimal amount of the information being created today, so we need to change our thinking around how we dip into streams of information, be comfortable with a shallow level for content of lower value, and save our focus and spend the right amount on time on important information we need to actually consume.
Watch this video on Backbeat.com, which features an interview of Rushkoff in a clock shop, if only for his comments on how to get “in the now.”
It’s a shame to say it, and only with a hint of irony, but I just don’t have the time to read this book in depth right now. However, it’s on my Amazon wish list, and when I do get to it, it will be at a pace when I can absorb the full meaning and implications at leisure.