What Should we Be Worried About?

A million years ago, I asked Conversation Agent readers — Has Web 2.0 made you happier? It was so long ago that we've since stopped referring to it as Web 2.0.

The responses may surprise you.

I like discussions around thought provoking questions. Give me an open enough question, and I can facilitate a large room of individuals helping each articulate their point of view and be heard.

For many years, I held these discussions in person, see building a platform here. In the first five years of this blog, the conversation was spirited. Then with the birth of all kinds of social networks, attention splintered.

More than social fatigue, many have been experiencing social fragmentation, with shorter and shorter bursts of half thoughts scattered all over the Interwebs.

Which is why I am fascinated by the Edge. As the site describes, Edge is a conversation that offers a high quality of intellectual adventure. The online salon at Edge.org
is a living document of millions of words charting the Edge
conversation over the past fifteen years wherever it has gone. It is
available, gratis, to the general public

This year's question is what should we be worried about?

In his response, Nicholas Carr talks about the patience deficit as something we should worry about:

As we experience faster flows of information online, we become, in
other words, less patient people. But it's not just a network effect.
The phenomenon is amplified by the constant buzz of Facebook, Twitter,
texting, and social networking in general. Society's "activity rhythm"
has never been so harried. Impatience is a contagion spread from gadget
to gadget.

[…] it also has implications for how all of
us think, socialize, and in general live. If we assume that networks
will continue to get faster—a pretty safe bet—then we can also conclude
that we'll become more and more impatient, more and more intolerant of
even microseconds of delay between action and response. As a result,
we'll be less likely to experience anything that requires us to wait,
that doesn't provide us with instant gratification.

That has cultural as well as personal consequences. The greatest of
human works—in art, science, politics—tend to take time and patience
both to create and to appreciate. The deepest experiences can't be
measured in fractions of seconds.

I worry that in our haste to have all the answers, we may miss asking the most important questions.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.

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