Letter #5: Living connected.

Letters from an Internet Traveler

October 16, 2015

Dear reader,

Sorry for the extremely late letter, I just got back from a short, whirlwind trip to Europe. An experience I’ll never forget, and a chance for me to unwind. Something I really needed.

Lately, I’ve been feeling massively overwhelmed and I think I can blame it on being over-connected. Every digital outlet I subscribe to pushes content to me relentlessly, and I’m slowly becoming over-saturated with information, thoughts, and ambitions, making it severely difficult for me to focus on one thing. Therefore, I’ve decided to cut down on the amount of information I consume, as well as the frequency at which I consume it. This will more likely result in irregular letters, rather than letters on a weekly basis. But I think there’s a beauty in irregularity. Now you’ll have a little interesting surprise to look forward to in your inbox every week, every other week, or whenever I stumble across a few things worth sharing.

With that said, this letter will focus on life in an over-connected world. Discover something overwhelming, something generational, and something unsecure.


P.s. — Out of my over-saturated frustrations I wrote this short critique on the Medium community. It received some really good feedback from other writers. I really appreciate the encouragement.


[Article] Something overwhelming.

You see it in job requirements: the ability to multitask. Unable to focus on more than one thing at once? Sorry, you’re not fit for this generation. Multitasking has become so ingrained in our society since technology started disrupting our basic, cookie-cutter lives. Technology promised to make us efficient — to be able to do more than one thing at a time. And it has, but at a price. It cost us our ability to focus, our ability to retain information, formed a phobia called FOMO, and from personal experience, is a major cause of overwhelming information anxiety. This article dives deeper into the meaning of multitasking and what it has done to us as a species. Apparently we’re not multitasking as we think we are, but diminishing our cognitive abilities none the less. This interesting read is a bit long, so I can guarantee that you’ll reach for your phones not even half way through.

[Article] Something generational.

I remember when I was a kid, I entertained myself with ninja turtle action figures, Lego, and the Berenstain bears. As I grew up that turned to TV, Super Nintendo, and gameboys. It’s surprising how your age can dictate your interests. But, today, it seems as if no matter the age, our interests always gravitate towards technology. This generation of youngsters are reaching for their ipads and mobile phones quicker than their teddy bears. Using apps such as YouTube, and Netflix faster than they can say their own name. It’s an alarming realization to know the next generation will be better at technology at the age of 10 than we were at 24. This can mean one of two things: 1. Our future will be filled with baby geniuses, inventing new technologies that will improve the human race, or 2. We’re doomed to a gloomy future of digital zombies walking a barren earth, mobile devices in hand, wearables on tap, and wifi as far as the devices can detect. So far we’re pretty damn close to the latter.

[Video] Something unsecure.

As technology advances, we’re becoming more and more connected with the digital world. The Internet of things close on the horizon, and talking to your fridge has never sounded so cool. On the contrary, if you’re aware of what people are capable of in the digital world, being so connected has never been so frightening. If these systems that link the digital world with the physical world are not secure, there’s no telling where cybercrime will take us in the future. These system vulnerabilities are called Zero Days, and hackers are constantly on the lookout for them―some for good, but others, not so much. The scariest part is that many of us are completely unaware of how critical the Internet is to daily life in the modern era. It pretty much powers everything, and if one piece is breached, there could be a massively disruptive domino effect of consequences, which can include physical harm to a society and it’s people. This video dives deep into the world of hacking and cyber security in an attempt to educate normals on the vulnerabilities within our highly connected physical lives. A very intriguing, haunting watch.

This is an adaptation of Letters from an Internet Traveler, the irregularly scheduled newsletter from an overactive cybernaut — sending you thought-provoking tidbits and internet obscurities you’ve probably overlooked, one digestible chunk at a time. You can also follow the Medium publication.