Friday, May 23, 2008

eye spam

The first time I realised how much digital tools could influence my behaviour in the real world was at college. I was drawing in a sketchpad and upon making an unsatisfactory mark, I reached for the 'undo' button. Very abstract thing to do, that. I'm sure many of us have done it.

Just now I was in a coffee shop and as I waited for my cappuccino I glanced across a rack of flyers. Whereas I would normally pick up a few; read a few lines etc before deciding if I was interested or not, I found myself being incredibly dismissive. If the name, colour or opening two words didn't get my attention I ignored it. I managed to dismiss about forty flyers in around six or seven seconds.

I could actually feel the difference from just a few months ago. I was semi-conscious that my brain was already full of stuff and that I didn't want more going in unless it was worth it. It was Google Reader, only with a backdrop of unusual lamps and furniture.

It's not just the parallel I want to bring up, but Google Reader's unquestionable influence on my behaviour. Since I started using GR I have become painfully aware of my brain's tiny capacity in comparison to all the information out there. It seems I've now started editing what I consume visually even in coffee shops. What next?


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