In The News : Problems With Technology?

A guy with an amazing name, Digby Tantam, is releasing a book called The Interbrain.

In essence, the book is a look at how modern communication via t’interweb makes it difficult to read people’s feelings, something normally done through the nuances of facial expressions and body language and other forms of context.

The point makes sense.  When you just have words on a screen, punctuation (and, dare I say it, emojis) take on additional importance.  Indeed, as Tantum points out, delays even in video calling may cause us to miss some important additional information.

One of the things that crossed my mind, though, was whether this on its own was actually news – by definition, “new”.  Similar sentiment has been abounding for years, but humans have been communicating by way of the written word or pictures for most of time so it seems unfair to blame the internet for such a breakdown in communication.

I’m not sure whether anyone ventured similar opinions at the invention of the stone tablet, the letter, the telegram, the holiday postcard or, for that matter the book.  I think the problem with modern communication is how instant it is.  Written words of the past were carefully crafted but nowadays we have tendency to type the first thing that comes to mind with little to thought to whether those words accurately convey the message we want to give.


And while we’re on the subject, apparently Text Neck isn’t a thing either.  Physio and the spokesperson for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Ash James, spoke about a new study involving 150 young adults in Brazil found no association between using a phone and neck pain, finding no correlation between a person’s neck posture and the frequency or intensity of their neck pain.

As James, pointed out, the mechanics of reading your phone are the same as reading a book.

‘I doubt the ancient Greeks suffered from scroll neck, and their wasn’t too much newspaper neck around in the 1950s, for example.’

Call me cynical, but the term “Text Neck” was coined by a chiropractor, Dean Fishman, who then founded the Text Neck Institute to treat it.  I guess he wouldn’t have too much of a job if it didn’t exist.


In non-related news, a convicted burglar in Ireland is suing the owner of the shop he burgled after cutting is scrotum on a shelf as he tried to make a hasty get away from the pitch black shop in the middle of the night.

The guy was one of three burgling the shop when they were disturbed by armed officers.

There have been some serious cases like this in the past and they often divide opinion based on the severity of the treatment of the intruder.  I’ve always viewed it as a balance of civil liberties and don’t think that the Law should protect yours if you’re willing to openly flout someone else’s.

If this burglar really wants something to protect his genitals and those of others when they go out on the rob, I’d suggest a more robust pair or pants.

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