Friday, May 13

"variable interval reinforcement schedule"

Breaking away from my connected life, I could feel how the compulsion, the divided attention, the multitasking has permeated my way of being. Early adopters, the heavy technology users who throw themselves at every new device and service, will admit to an uncontrollable impulse to check email, tweets or Facebook. Researchers have called this "variable interval reinforcement schedule"; we have in effect been trained into digital message addiction because the most exciting rewards are unpredictable. We're no better than slot-machine addicts. 
The hustle we develop as we struggle to keep up with the pace of digital information has produced a restless, anxious way of engaging with the world. Desperate for efficiency, this seeps into our physical lives; I feel compelled to tidy while on the phone, to fold the washing while brushing my teeth. No single task has my undivided attention.
We are all going to be in trouble. "How I kicked my digital habit."

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