We don’t have a zombie apocalypse but as you commute or watch people perhaps we have a Sombie (or Smartphone-ombie) Apocalypse or some people with their brain’s attention being sucked into their smart phones whilst others quake with nomophobia (the fear of being without a mobile phone). Perhaps we need to become more aware of the algorithms vying for our attention and the neurotransmitters generated as we count our likes, browse influencer feeds or play our little games. Taking time to look up and engage with one another will help maintain our humanity – our devices and the software are terrific tools but very poor masters!

Listen to an interesting Next Billion Seconds podcast with futurist  Mark Pesce  on the importance of looking up from our machines here &/or read Dr Kerr’s ‘The Art & Science of Looking Up’ report – available here. Mark Pesce and Dr Kerr have post COVID-19 social isolation update here.

Another interesting article suggesting taking the opportunity be alive to the world is here:


From a societal perspective The Minefield – a Australian Broadcasting Corporation show – is one program examining technology’s role in democracy here  – is there a systemic issue in the platform model of social media itself with participants performing in what they interestingly phrase as “an orgy of competing monologues”  or “just” bad actors on these platforms (about 8 minutes in)?

A good indicator of people’s interest in the subject is the number of books and news media items on the subject as well as parental discussions about their youths’s fixation on their screens (with youth rebuking parents back on the amount of time they themselves spend glued to their own devices). And recently sites have begun to spring up to educate and guide people on smart device overuse or perceived addiction.