So Gloria found, and read to me, an article on "digital nutrition." The term seems to be promoted by one Jocelyn Brewer, and is probably trademarked and copyrighted all to heck, even though is it just a variation on digital detox/digital vacation, with some "vary your online activity diet" thrown in for good measure.
I tend to think more in terms of a healthy attitude to the net. The phrase "benign neglect" somehow seems appropriate.
Every time I come across one of these pieces, it seems everyone is using the Internet differently than I am. Everyone else is madly glued to their smartphones and the apps on them. Mostly I use the computer, usually with a Web browser. At my desk. Everyone else gets alerted by their apps. I allow most of my apps to notify me, but the volume is turned way down, and often, when I'm out, I miss the notifications. Sorry for those who are desperately trying to reach me on Whatsapp, but I just haven't yet found that any of those missed notifications could have changed my life.
I really wonder why I use the Internet so differently than most other people. I use the same social media applications. I just use them differently. I really like Twitter. To a certain extent I use it to follow some of my friends. But mostly I follow news sources. CBC, BBC, NPR, The Economist, Sydney Morning Herald, and others. And, of course, a number of sources of information security news. I use other news sources, of course, but Twitter gives me a bit more breadth. (Knowing that Twitter, like most social media, supports a kind of "bubble effect" of reinforcing views you already agree with, I deliberately follow some people I don't like, just to mess with the algorithm.)
It's possible that it's because I've been on the Internet a lot longer than most people. I was using the Internet in 1983. At that time it wasn't even called the Internet, yet, and the population, as near as I can estimate, was about a thousand people. Social media was mostly mailing lists (mail was used for almost everything, including file transfers), with some people having various levels of access to Usenet. I had, perforce, to learn an awful lot about the underlying technologies, since it was extremely unlikely that I was going to find anyone to give me any help if I ran into any problems. This kind of background is not good if you want to continue to view each new social media app as a magical new toy. You tend to see each one as yet another database, with yet another new interface.
Which tends to give you a different perspective. Instead of a new bandwagon to jump on, or group to join, you tend to think of new systems in terms of "what new information can I get here that I can't get elsewhere?" If I can get this info elsewhere, is it sufficiently worthwhile, in terms of accuracy, volume, or query granularity, to learn this new interface? (The answer, very often, is "no.")
I love the Internet. I really do. I have, ever since I first discovered it. I hate it, almost to the point of feeling physical pain, whenever there is some new attack on it or through it. But I've got more than three and a half decades of experience on it. I know how important it is, and isn't. I know which parts are important, and which are temporary fads. (I get it wrong, sometimes. I admit it. One of my biggest mistakes was in thinking the World Wide Web was only another interface, like gopher. Why did we need it, when we had archie?) (Anybody remember gopher? Or archie? No, I didn't think so.)
The Internet is great. It's informative, and entertaining. But it's not everything.
And now I'm going to stop wasting time posting this, and go for a walk. In the sunshine.
If you've used BBSs on dial up and text based interfaces to servers on the internet before the www was invented then it immunises you against getting hooked. I use the internet as a tool if it's the best one for the task in hand. It's often easier to speak directly to someone with the experience or knowledge you seek or consult a book.
> Steve-Wilme (Contributor I) posted a new reply in Career on 05-08-2019 05:23 AM
> If you've used BBSs on dial up and text based interfaces to servers on the
> internet before the www was invented then it immunises you against getting
Possibly so. I didn't get onto BBSes until after I was on the nascent Internet, but, at one point, acted as a non-official port for some of the Internet mailing lists across to Fidonet ...
Ah, I only threw out my Hayes AT command set manuals and listings of BBSs about 4 years ago ... along with alomst the whole range of US robotics modems. Timewise BBSs and www overlapped for a few years and then I guess www hit critical mass due to network externalises and all that. It all seems like a vintage computing era over 20 years on
> Steve-Wilme (Contributor I) posted a new reply in Career on 05-09-2019 08:04 AM
> Ah, I only threw out my Hayes AT command set manuals and listings of BBSs about
> 4 years ago ...
When I published my first book, I was still maintaining a list of antivirus BBSes, and published it in an appendix. (I think by the second edition I had stopped maintaining the list, and pulled that appendix.)
Oh, and I still have a 110 baud (and, yes, I know the difference between baud and bps) acoustic coupler modem. Somewhere ...
Now *that'd* give you time to go for a walk while a modem Web page loaded ...