Is social media making us ill?

Interesting conversation over on Stowe Boyd’s blog about Linda Stone’s points about Continuous Partial Attention. She says something interesting: that being in a continuous partial attention state all the time is making us ill. I believe it. I started working out about a week ago for the first time. You’ll probably notice me doing less and less online as I try to bring my health up (and catch up on email).

In response I’m offline for the next few days. Maryam and I are going to Cabo to speak to a PRSA meeting down there. Be back on Wednesday. Looking forward to being offline.

As to Flickr, what’s up with taking Violet Blue’s photos down?

Want a distraction? Last night I had dinner with Loic Le Meur, who is moving to San Francisco from Paris with his family and he filmed a video interview of me. I talk some smack back to Jason Calacanis. Hi Jason!

Anyway, have fun, see ya on Wednesday — if Akismet’s comment spam filter catches your comment, I probably won’t be able to approve it until then. I’ll be off cell phone too. Staying at the Westin.

90 thoughts on “Is social media making us ill?

  1. 22: that’s funny. I talk more about startups than probably anyone except for Mashable, GigaOm, and TechCrunch. Out of the 200+ interviews I’ve done more than half are with startups. But, Chris has proven over and over again that he doesn’t pay attention to such things (and admits such).

    I was at Kyte.tv on Friday. Another startup.

    As to Origami. New hardware always takes a long time to catch on. When the Mac came out in 1984 it took until about 1990 before it really started to take off.

    I guess if Chris was around in 1984 he would have said the Mac was all hype too.

    Origami’s concepts are still around. Many of the gesture-based things in the iPhone were shown to me on Origami first. And Intel is continuing to pour money into the Origami concept and several new ones have shipped in the last few months.

    Was I a bit exuberant? Sure.

    I’m surprised no one brought up my exuberance of Second Life here.

    But, back to sitting on the beach at Cabo.

  2. 22: that’s funny. I talk more about startups than probably anyone except for Mashable, GigaOm, and TechCrunch. Out of the 200+ interviews I’ve done more than half are with startups. But, Chris has proven over and over again that he doesn’t pay attention to such things (and admits such).

    I was at Kyte.tv on Friday. Another startup.

    As to Origami. New hardware always takes a long time to catch on. When the Mac came out in 1984 it took until about 1990 before it really started to take off.

    I guess if Chris was around in 1984 he would have said the Mac was all hype too.

    Origami’s concepts are still around. Many of the gesture-based things in the iPhone were shown to me on Origami first. And Intel is continuing to pour money into the Origami concept and several new ones have shipped in the last few months.

    Was I a bit exuberant? Sure.

    I’m surprised no one brought up my exuberance of Second Life here.

    But, back to sitting on the beach at Cabo.

  3. Proffesor Tom Davenport arguess that “we’ve been empowered to exercise more choice over the information we attend to.”… “But just as we enjoy meals much more when we haven’t eaten for a while, we’ll be better information consumers if we occasionally savor the silence.”

    We certainly have more info and we have to be selective. Today nobody has the time or the speed to read everything we post. Sometimes I find myself reading in diagonal. When I reaqd something technical, I have to concentrate to change modes.

    Mario Ruiz
    http://www.oursheet.com

  4. Proffesor Tom Davenport arguess that “we’ve been empowered to exercise more choice over the information we attend to.”… “But just as we enjoy meals much more when we haven’t eaten for a while, we’ll be better information consumers if we occasionally savor the silence.”

    We certainly have more info and we have to be selective. Today nobody has the time or the speed to read everything we post. Sometimes I find myself reading in diagonal. When I reaqd something technical, I have to concentrate to change modes.

    Mario Ruiz
    http://www.oursheet.com

  5. @19,

    I can imagine a reader of Scoble’s blog walking into a best buy, needing a new cell phone, seeing what he needs for $99 or even for free with a 3 year plan and right before purchasing: pausing; rubbing his chin; and frantically telling the clerk to take it out of the bag, because he remembered that he saw the “Nokia N95″ on Scoble’s blog. Besides it possibly being out of his budget and not what he really wanted, he gets it anyway. So he can “be like Scoble”?

    While this make work with Nike and Micheal Jordan, I don’t quite think that can ever translate with a blogger. A-List or not. It’s like those “pro atheletes” that wear the Q-Ray bracelet.

    @18,
    That may very well be the case, but they will buy an iPhone because it’s cool and because Jobs told them to as well as silhouettes dancing around in commercials looking uber trendy. Not because of Valley talk and bloggers. Just like the iPod.

    These tech services and 5 billion RSS feeds are not relevant to most people’s technology choices at all. Even the most A-list do not effect people’s choices. I dare say even TV shows like Mr. LaPorte’s lab and techtv do not effect most people’s buying decisions.

    If they got their product on ATOS on G4 and had Kevin Pereira or Olivia Munn pimp it, that would be another issue. Those people are hip and trendy and the people that watch that show are younger and have less of a mind of their own.

  6. @19,

    I can imagine a reader of Scoble’s blog walking into a best buy, needing a new cell phone, seeing what he needs for $99 or even for free with a 3 year plan and right before purchasing: pausing; rubbing his chin; and frantically telling the clerk to take it out of the bag, because he remembered that he saw the “Nokia N95″ on Scoble’s blog. Besides it possibly being out of his budget and not what he really wanted, he gets it anyway. So he can “be like Scoble”?

    While this make work with Nike and Micheal Jordan, I don’t quite think that can ever translate with a blogger. A-List or not. It’s like those “pro atheletes” that wear the Q-Ray bracelet.

    @18,
    That may very well be the case, but they will buy an iPhone because it’s cool and because Jobs told them to as well as silhouettes dancing around in commercials looking uber trendy. Not because of Valley talk and bloggers. Just like the iPod.

    These tech services and 5 billion RSS feeds are not relevant to most people’s technology choices at all. Even the most A-list do not effect people’s choices. I dare say even TV shows like Mr. LaPorte’s lab and techtv do not effect most people’s buying decisions.

    If they got their product on ATOS on G4 and had Kevin Pereira or Olivia Munn pimp it, that would be another issue. Those people are hip and trendy and the people that watch that show are younger and have less of a mind of their own.

  7. I’ve heard and read Robert talking about Seagate many times on his blog and in his videos. I also saw him spend a significant amount of his time and energy talking about Zooomr over the past several weeks, a company I do not believe he has any financial stake in. He used his vast connections to try and get financial and hardware help for Zooomr in their time of need.

  8. I’ve heard and read Robert talking about Seagate many times on his blog and in his videos. I also saw him spend a significant amount of his time and energy talking about Zooomr over the past several weeks, a company I do not believe he has any financial stake in. He used his vast connections to try and get financial and hardware help for Zooomr in their time of need.

  9. @19 far be it from me to disagree with the master, but “utility” overstates it–unless you take a very broad view of the word “utility.” Very often, in our advertising and PR governed world, the customer is buying a feeling or a hope and utility be damned.

  10. @19 far be it from me to disagree with the master, but “utility” overstates it–unless you take a very broad view of the word “utility.” Very often, in our advertising and PR governed world, the customer is buying a feeling or a hope and utility be damned.

  11. @3 “Maybe sales DON’T have anything to do with blogs or Techmeme or that type of promotion. Maybe people buy things and even gadgets because they actually need them.”

    “What the customer buys and considers value is NEVER a product. It is ALWAYS a utility, that is, what a product or service DOES for him”

    -Peter Drucker.

  12. @3 “Maybe sales DON’T have anything to do with blogs or Techmeme or that type of promotion. Maybe people buy things and even gadgets because they actually need them.”

    “What the customer buys and considers value is NEVER a product. It is ALWAYS a utility, that is, what a product or service DOES for him”

    -Peter Drucker.

  13. @11 “Robert, I’ve always wondered how on earth your body manages to survive through all that (some new words here) flickring, twittering, wordpressing, gadgeting, etc. If I spent all that time near a laptop, my body would come to a grinding halt.”

    Of all the things in the world to wonder about, you pick that?

  14. @11 “Robert, I’ve always wondered how on earth your body manages to survive through all that (some new words here) flickring, twittering, wordpressing, gadgeting, etc. If I spent all that time near a laptop, my body would come to a grinding halt.”

    Of all the things in the world to wonder about, you pick that?

  15. @8 iPhone is not going to be bought by people who need an iPhone. It’s going to be bought by people who need to say, “I have an iPhone.” Incalculable (though ephemeral) status will be lost by people who are forced to spend the month of July without being able to offer their first-hand opinion of it.

  16. @8 iPhone is not going to be bought by people who need an iPhone. It’s going to be bought by people who need to say, “I have an iPhone.” Incalculable (though ephemeral) status will be lost by people who are forced to spend the month of July without being able to offer their first-hand opinion of it.

  17. Hmmm – I wonder if it would be more accurate to say “increased sedentary time” leads to bad health? Social media has kept many of us online even longer than before ..and please pass over more chips and soda…

  18. Hmmm – I wonder if it would be more accurate to say “increased sedentary time” leads to bad health? Social media has kept many of us online even longer than before ..and please pass over more chips and soda…

  19. Rocky, I just read back through your comments. Sorry about that. I mostly read this blog at work, and I do not have the flash player installed on the work computer at my desk.

    I really have no idea what Robert’s videos are like. I only very seldomly watch one. I know there is a sponsored by Seagate intro on the videos. I was talking about mentioning them in his blog the way he would mention a Microsoft product in every other post when they were paying him.

    Remember the way he hyped up the Origami for weeks and it turned out to be nothing more than vapor-hard-ware?

    He doesn’t do that with the new companies. I’m not sorry he doesn’t, I’m just saying.

  20. Rocky, I just read back through your comments. Sorry about that. I mostly read this blog at work, and I do not have the flash player installed on the work computer at my desk.

    I really have no idea what Robert’s videos are like. I only very seldomly watch one. I know there is a sponsored by Seagate intro on the videos. I was talking about mentioning them in his blog the way he would mention a Microsoft product in every other post when they were paying him.

    Remember the way he hyped up the Origami for weeks and it turned out to be nothing more than vapor-hard-ware?

    He doesn’t do that with the new companies. I’m not sorry he doesn’t, I’m just saying.

  21. I’ve been going to the nautilusplus.com gym since january. I went every day this week to burn off my beer gut.

    Since this thread is about not so useful gadgets
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120130279585

    I only used it for travel. My old SuSE Linux laptop could not scan hotel wifi, so I would use the PSP wifi to get the SSID, then I would enter it in YaST for adhoc. Aside from that I lightly used it for games on flights to Europe and the US. Sorry I can’t help pimping this, so that some poor needy soul can get it cheaply.

    No, I did not buy a Zune, and yes, I still love my PS3. I went with an Apple airplane entertainment solution. One I can stick in my pocket and don’t have to fumble around with.

  22. I’ve been going to the nautilusplus.com gym since january. I went every day this week to burn off my beer gut.

    Since this thread is about not so useful gadgets
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120130279585

    I only used it for travel. My old SuSE Linux laptop could not scan hotel wifi, so I would use the PSP wifi to get the SSID, then I would enter it in YaST for adhoc. Aside from that I lightly used it for games on flights to Europe and the US. Sorry I can’t help pimping this, so that some poor needy soul can get it cheaply.

    No, I did not buy a Zune, and yes, I still love my PS3. I went with an Apple airplane entertainment solution. One I can stick in my pocket and don’t have to fumble around with.

  23. I put a “Sponsored by Seagate” slate on EVERY SINGLE VIDEO BLOG of The Scoble Show. Not to mention Robert mentions that he is sponsored by Seagate ALL the time with few exceptions.

    Chris- FOCUS!

  24. I put a “Sponsored by Seagate” slate on EVERY SINGLE VIDEO BLOG of The Scoble Show. Not to mention Robert mentions that he is sponsored by Seagate ALL the time with few exceptions.

    Chris- FOCUS!

  25. Robert, I’ve always wondered how on earth your body manages to survive through all that (some new words here) flickring, twittering, wordpressing, gadgeting, etc. If I spent all that time near a laptop, my body would come to a grinding halt.

    I wouldn’t blame social media. It’s just that we shouldn’t overdose.

    I’m glad to hear that you are starting to exercise, with the junior coming up and all that…

    Cheers.

  26. Robert, I’ve always wondered how on earth your body manages to survive through all that (some new words here) flickring, twittering, wordpressing, gadgeting, etc. If I spent all that time near a laptop, my body would come to a grinding halt.

    I wouldn’t blame social media. It’s just that we shouldn’t overdose.

    I’m glad to hear that you are starting to exercise, with the junior coming up and all that…

    Cheers.

  27. I had a dream last night that Alan, the Head Lemur was blogging again. Alas, just a dream.

  28. I had a dream last night that Alan, the Head Lemur was blogging again. Alas, just a dream.

  29. Maybe people buy things and even gadgets because they actually need them.

    Well, everywhere except a 50 mile Bay Area radius, and few other ‘trendy for trendy sakes’ areas.

    That’s one of the ironic things, a good product, that meets market needs, at the right price, sells itself. Of course, you need to strategically determine needs beforehand. Marketing can take a good product to greater heights, but it can never lift up a bad product, not in the long-term. Marketing is like half of medicine, a distraction, while nature cures the disease (a little François-Marie Arouet lingo there).

    PS – ‘though’ and ‘an’, trigger happy Tabbing, wish blog comments went more forum-based.

  30. Maybe people buy things and even gadgets because they actually need them.

    Well, everywhere except a 50 mile Bay Area radius, and few other ‘trendy for trendy sakes’ areas.

    That’s one of the ironic things, a good product, that meets market needs, at the right price, sells itself. Of course, you need to strategically determine needs beforehand. Marketing can take a good product to greater heights, but it can never lift up a bad product, not in the long-term. Marketing is like half of medicine, a distraction, while nature cures the disease (a little François-Marie Arouet lingo there).

    PS – ‘though’ and ‘an’, trigger happy Tabbing, wish blog comments went more forum-based.

  31. I’ll be joining Robert on the health swing- First is to kill my smoking. I live on the beach so I will be doing a lot more walking- regularly, that is.

    My wife is an aerobic fanatic ( I reap those bennies ) but has learned not to push it on me.

    I was a kick-boxer in my teens and twenties- I doubt I can or want to reach that condition again but will be pleased to get somewhere close. Wish me luck- I’ll need it.

    Hey Chris!

  32. I’ll be joining Robert on the health swing- First is to kill my smoking. I live on the beach so I will be doing a lot more walking- regularly, that is.

    My wife is an aerobic fanatic ( I reap those bennies ) but has learned not to push it on me.

    I was a kick-boxer in my teens and twenties- I doubt I can or want to reach that condition again but will be pleased to get somewhere close. Wish me luck- I’ll need it.

    Hey Chris!

  33. Well, even thought I don’t play the blogger short-attention-span games, it gives me headaches just listening to the quackery practitioners flapper on and on, continuously inventing up new buzz words.

    Disruptive Holistic Community-Attention-Based Amorphous and Ubiquitous Wikized Social Media. Gosh, I need a Excedrin already.

  34. Well, even thought I don’t play the blogger short-attention-span games, it gives me headaches just listening to the quackery practitioners flapper on and on, continuously inventing up new buzz words.

    Disruptive Holistic Community-Attention-Based Amorphous and Ubiquitous Wikized Social Media. Gosh, I need a Excedrin already.

  35. RSS is a stream of stuff most people really don’t care about.

    The iPhone for instance may very well be great. But what’s the point of talking about it to no end. Just buy one and use it when it’s out. It’s that simple.

    Remember the Origami BS, or Vista, Longhorn, or Tiger?

    Funny how you never mention Seagate your sponsor, and they keep selling hard drives none the less.

    Maybe sales DON’T have anything to do with blogs or Techmeme or that type of promotion. Maybe people buy things and even gadgets because they actually need them.

    Scary thought for those who are invested in.

  36. RSS is a stream of stuff most people really don’t care about.

    The iPhone for instance may very well be great. But what’s the point of talking about it to no end. Just buy one and use it when it’s out. It’s that simple.

    Remember the Origami BS, or Vista, Longhorn, or Tiger?

    Funny how you never mention Seagate your sponsor, and they keep selling hard drives none the less.

    Maybe sales DON’T have anything to do with blogs or Techmeme or that type of promotion. Maybe people buy things and even gadgets because they actually need them.

    Scary thought for those who are invested in.

  37. P.S.

    - Program also says what to order in or eat at your favourite restaurants, e.g. I had Chinese and Greek this week
    - I got the program because of the credibility of the person behind it
    - I will admit it’s the only thing I’ve ever bought as the direct result of a TV commercial and even then I thought about it for a few days
    - I’ll be putting the details and my progress on my blog in the future

    Robert, email me if you want the details.

  38. P.S.

    - Program also says what to order in or eat at your favourite restaurants, e.g. I had Chinese and Greek this week
    - I got the program because of the credibility of the person behind it
    - I will admit it’s the only thing I’ve ever bought as the direct result of a TV commercial and even then I thought about it for a few days
    - I’ll be putting the details and my progress on my blog in the future

    Robert, email me if you want the details.

  39. I started a new health program two weeks a go.

    - I’ve lost 5lbs a week in first two weeks
    - I eat 5 times a day
    - I don’t do any specific exercise, but can do special walking to accelerate it more if I want
    - Program explains how busting a gut at the gym is a waste of time unless you’re body building
    - I just buy normal fresh food and eat all food groups
    - Can (haven’t yet) do a specific workout 2 times a week to shape any specific bulges

  40. I started a new health program two weeks a go.

    - I’ve lost 5lbs a week in first two weeks
    - I eat 5 times a day
    - I don’t do any specific exercise, but can do special walking to accelerate it more if I want
    - Program explains how busting a gut at the gym is a waste of time unless you’re body building
    - I just buy normal fresh food and eat all food groups
    - Can (haven’t yet) do a specific workout 2 times a week to shape any specific bulges

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