Women-taking-a-selfie-photo-with-iPhone-by-Chris-Ford-Creative-CommonsAnother bold call for action

What are the unintended consequences of a wired world?  In The End of Absenceauthor Michael Harris (Governor General Award winner) addresses the unintended consequences of a wired world and our relationship with the Internet as we turn on 24/7. Harris suggests that we have to be more thoughtful as we prepare for the future.

Some highlights from his far-ranging research and personal experience:

  • Techno-brain burnout (ping, ping, ping – Oh my, the importance of all those pings!).
  • By 2012 we were asking Google to help us find things more than a trillion times each year; we were sending one another 144 billion emails – every day.
  • In 2013 we “liked“ 4.5 billion items on Facebook every day.
  • Nielsen research shows that the average teenager now manages upward of four thousand text messages every month.
  • The tablet glows and we do not.
  • Studies show today’s youth are scoring 40% lower on empathy than earlier counterparts and have increased levels of narcissism.
  • What’s important is that we become responsible for the media diets of our children in a way that past generations never were – we need to engineer moments of absence for them.

In The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost In A World Of Constant Connection, Michael Harris does not recommend deleting the Internet from our lives. Rather he asserts it is our responsibility to insert moments of absence back into our lives.