End times


That’s the only word I came up with today. Write something on your blog, Mary, I told myself. Maybe it will be therapeutic.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve become increasingly dependent on the Internet to soothe my restless mind. I lose myself in a labyrinth of interesting articles, the antics of friends from around the world, silly videos, TV series on Netflix. I quell my boredom and at the same time avoid doing anything of note, including blogging. Oh yes, I do emerge for yoga and some running, I do read actual books to the tune of one or two a week. But still. The rest of the time? Drugged. Continue reading

Tech detox

I know I said I was going into hibernation. Even though it’s summer, and the root of that word is “hiver” or winter. Well, it’s winter in Australia, isn’t it?

But this is just too good to pass up. There’s an article in the NYT today about internet addiction, and how Silicon Valley firms are debating whether they have any responsibility for what increasingly appears to be a true physical addiction to the stimulation of going online. Continue reading

A big fat F

I’m reading “The Shallows” right now (thank you Matt, my local independent bookseller, for another eye-opening tome). It addresses how the Internet is changing our brains. Did you know that you read differently online? Eye-tracking studies have shown that the vast majority of people read the first two or three full lines of text on a web page,

and then





a few



Then they may once again scan about halfway across the page

for a couple more lines, before finally letting their eyes continue






to the


Their eyes


a “F”


(“F” for Fail?)

Avg. time on ANY page?

19-27 seconds.


Pop that bubble

Eli Pariser did a Ted talk recently about how Google and Facebook and so on track just about everything you do online and feed this data into algorithms that personalize the way you experience the Internet. What you see and who you interact with are invisibly decided for you based on your past preferences, and you probably are not even aware of it. Or if you are aware of it, you’re also aware that there’s not much you can do about it.

See, you’re surfing in a “filter bubble” surrounded by people just like you and things you’ve already expressed an interest in, and you’re increasingly cut off from differing viewpoints, unbiased information and new ideas. Here’s a link to the video: it’s worth a watch, if you have nine minutes. Continue reading