Can you live without Twitter or Facebook?

I have long been a fan of Andrew Denton, ever since he was ‘Andrew the Boy Genius’ on the Uncle Doug Mulray breakfast radio show on Triple M in the 80’s (I know, right?!) He has always been a thoughtful comic, and the Tv he has produced has reflected that.

I’ve often wondered how a creative mind like his works, and so it was with interest that I read this piece he has written about his perspective on participating in Twitter and Facebook. He writes:

So why did I choose not to opt in? Partly a weird – even to me – Unabomber-type suspicion of leaving too many electronic footprints (ridiculous, I realise, in an age where the PRISM program knows both my thoughts). Partly because I am not, by nature, a social creature (hello ”unsubscribe”).
But mostly because … I. Just. Don’t. Want.The. Noise.
I believe in daydreaming; for me, the most fertile creative state. The simple act of allowing your brain to freewheel can lead to connections and solutions previously hidden in plain sight. In our second-screen lives, daydreaming barely rates a mention. But it should be on the curriculum of every school and university and encouraged in every workplace.

To daydream properly you have to actively seek silence. For most of us, that takes a real force of will. Think of your life right now.

Is your phone’s face the last thing you see before sleep? Your first friend in the morning? You may be interested to know that every message ping you get, your brain gives you a tiny squirt of dopamine as a reward – exactly the same as it gives gamblers when they bet on 23 black. The cumulative effect, as Chinese scientists have recently discovered, is that the brains of internet addicts come to resemble those of drug and gambling addicts.

It’s part of a longer article from the SMH.

It’s worth hearing as part of the conversation on who we really are as human beings, and what part social media is playing in that identity.


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