You are viewing our site as a Broker, switch your view below:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default     Back to List

Can You Handle Drinking from the Internet Firehose?

We're distracting you with warnings about distractions now?

focus contactually1

This College Humor videoCollege Humor video was making the rounds the other day. It's pretty good, in an intentionally un-self-aware meta kind of way, since College Humor has been baiting us into opening new browser tabs since before browsers even HAD tabs, with content like this from when I first got to college more than ten years agolike this from when I first got to college more than ten years ago.

Just seeing that video takes me back. In August of 2000, when I watched this for the first time, there was no YouTube. You literally downloaded this video file to your laptop, and it was up to you to figure out what to do with it. There were no advertisements in it, no annotations that popped up. Just the fact that it was digital video of a place you recognized (this was filmed at my school a few years before I got there, from what I understand) was kind of amazing. And yet, everybody saw it. It went "viral" before the capacity for dumb videos to go viral even appeared to exist.

For a few months after I got to school, I had the literally unbelievable combination of Napster, and high speed internet. Two weeks before, I was downloading MIDI files of Green Day songsMIDI files of Green Day songs with my parents' dial-up modem, and all of a sudden, I could get literally anything I wanted, whenever I wanted in like, two minutes.

Meet the last of the analog children

Lately, I've realized that there's a sub-generation of people, of which I just so happen to belong to, who all experienced this kind of thing. We didn't grow up with the level of distraction that's par for the course right now, because it didn't exist. But when it finally arrived, we were the perfect age — somewhere between fifteen and say, twenty five — to learn how to adapt to it. Today, as functional adults, we can handle the information hose almost as well as kids who really DID grow up with it, but we're lucky enough to be in it, not of it. In theory at least, we know what we're giving up by plugging in.

Other articles of interest: The Virtual Office Website |