16th May 2012| by Paul Findlay

The Unsocial Media – is it time to turn off and tune in?

We’re so preoccupied with the latest gadgets and Apps, and constantly bombarded with messages from websites and forums and blogs (like the one you’re reading right now), that often we have neither the time nor the inclination to think about the stuff that really matters.

I personally love my iGadgets and digital hookups, but have we become a little too reliant on these products? So much so that it’s sucking up that precious bit of slack we once had that allowed us some space to think?

The famous Maltese philosopher Edward De Bono believes that the overly social media which defines the modern era is making us intellectually lazy, and too reliant on technology to do our thinking for us. Recent UCLA research confirms this stating that the internet, video games and all manner of technological multitasking is making us less reliant on our magical minds.

Technology and information is obviously useful, but sometimes it can be just as useful to have a time out; to say adios to your electronic addictions and hello to your own thoughts.

On the toilet, in the shower, on holiday – it’s no secret that we come up with our best thinking when we have space to think things through properly. The world’s most successful inventor, 81 year old Japanese eccentric Dr NakaMats (creator of the floppy disk and hundreds of other clever inventions), still takes notes while swimming underwater (using his self-designed Plexiglass Waterproof Notepad of course). This is where he comes up with all of his best ideas, and I think he’s onto something.

With Facebook sneakily fading out privacy underneath our indifferent noses, and now Google+ tracking and monitoring our life with every click, how can we find the space to think? How can we free ourselves from this technological servitude and regain the spontaneity that’s required for truly great ideas to rise and flourish?

Perhaps the next trend will be Unsocial Media? I had an idea today (in the shower, obviously) for a new App – the Air App™. Plug it in and it automatically shuts off you phone, email, iTunes, Twitter, Facebook and every other supposedly indispensable technological accessory, App and website in your life.

Now get ready to do absolutely nothing. Take a deep breath and relax – your brain will do the rest. Then as soon as your AirTime™ has expired, the Apps and gadgets will return, and a technological tsunami will engulf your life once more. But for a few precious moments, you will be able to think. Oh, the luxury of nothing….