I came across this on facebook (of all addictive places!) thanks to an old friend of mine, Nazif Topçuoğlu, who posted it there. And yes – I too think that online social networks and domains are wreaking havoc on our psyches. And if I am saying this, if I am observing some very adverse effects in myself that have come about from being a virtual worlds resident of 5+ years, then I may well be a good candidate for some of the research that these folks are conducting.
The findings that are being reported in the article are all disconcerting. But, here is the bit that has terrified me more than anything else in there, I guess:
“We may appear to be choosing to use this technology, but in fact we are being dragged to it by the potential of short-term rewards. Every ping could be a social, sexual, or professional opportunity, and we get a mini-reward, a squirt of dopamine, for answering the bell. “These rewards serve as jolts of energy that recharge the compulsion engine, much like the frisson a gambler receives as a new card hits the table,””
I find this notion of the “mini-reward” extremely worrisome since I can immediately recognize this type of compulsive behavior in myself also, when I think on how I have to go and check Flickr every half hour or so for the first 6 hours after I post an image, to see if my friends have commented on it and/or faved it. And to then realize how the “reward” is indeed so short-lived, that the “high” from getting the fave/comment evaporates almost instantaneously and I have to run back for more very shortly afterwards. And if nothing happens, I feel downcast. Not depressed maybe – I may not be that far gone yet – but definitely downcast… Read more
I am trying out the dynamic viewer that blogspot has recently added to their template collection: shapeshifterisland.blogspot.com/
Admittedly, there are a few problems with it – like no link list for example. The post titles are too big and you cannot make them smaller, so I did not give any of the posts titles. The bottom line is, unlike all other blogspot templates, this one does not allow you to edit the HTML. And the advanced customization editor is also very limited in what it can do. Just change colors and fonts basically. As I said, even changing font sizes won’t work… Ouch!
And not all the viewing versions look good – the one called “snapshot” looks awful in fact. And you cannot disable them, the visitor gets the choice, which is always listed at the top. (Although I did sort of get around that one by making the type color the same as the background color – teeee heeee).
But still, for something like this that contains photos only, with no big explanations or anything to go with them, it is quite a neat little display system.