There’s very little emotional intelligence designed into technology. Email software loves to remind you about how much you haven’t read; If you don’t login to Facebook for 2 days (only two!), it will start emailing you to tell you about all the “activity” you’re missing out on. Twitter also now sends you daily summaries of important things you may have missed. Whilst all of these are easily explained away as being “assistive” in some productive, getting-things-done kind of way, to me all it does is portray the neediness of these systems for your attention. They’re screaming at you to notice them.

What if there was a sense of emotional security built in to these technologies? What if they acted in a way that was confident you’d be back, and instead of screaming out at the slightest hint of neglect, terrified that you’ll leave them forever, they went about making the experience of coming back all the nicer?

Would you prefer a jealous service that sends you 10 emails a day asking where you are and who you’re with, or one that was confident and secure?

Sherry Turkle’s book, “Alone Together” is an interesting read if you’re interested in the increasing ambivalence and permission we give to attention grabbing technologies.


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