Becoming Indistractable

Welcome back all. Here is Digitally Literate, issue #321.

I posted the following this week:

  • Developing a Culture of Inquiry – This week I presented a workshop focused on reading and supporting students as they interact in classes. This post includes my slide deck and a recording of the session.
  • Sharing What You Love – What do you love about your disicpline, field, or job? Teaching is ultimately about sharing this love with others.
  • Sharpening the Saw of the Knowledge Worker – My information processing workflow stinks. In this post, I break down my knowledge management systems and what challenges I’ve had.

Are you a regular reader of DL? If so, I’d like to send you a thank you package. Send me a mailing address to and I’ll send you a handwritten note and some stickers. I had a couple of people that got in touch. Thank you for reaching out and saying hey!

If you haven’t already, please subscribe if you would like this newsletter to show up in your inbox. Reach out and say hello at

Why we say “OK”

“OK” is thought to be the most widely recognized word on the planet. We use it to communicate with each other, as well as our technology. But, it actually started out as a language fad in the 1830’s.

The end of the metaverse hopefully

Meta, the company that owns Facebook, had a very bad week. The company, on an earnings call, reported that it had lost users for the first time in its history. The market then responded. The company’s valuation dropped $232 billion, the biggest 24-hour drop in the stock market’s history.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Meta is betting big on the metaverse, which may be years off. A lot of the content shared on the social network is also mostly misinformation, right-wing outrage, and long videos that lead users to ultimately view an ad.

If you don’t follow it already, a quick scroll through Facebook’s Top 10, a Twitter bot created by New York Times reporter Kevin Roose and Fabio Giglietto, an associate professor of Internet Studies at the Università di Urbino in Italy, gives you a glimpse of what Facebook users are reading and sharing.

How to Survive in a World of Information Overload

Nir Eyal on the challenges of living in a world with too much information. How do we become Indistractable?

  • Turn your values into time
  • Impose constraints
  • Make the most of your time

Pursuing knowledge is great until it becomes a distraction.

Big Tech Must Stop Hiding

A major reason why Big Tech firms have achieved such scale and become the gatekeepers to entire markets is that they have been able to obscure most of their financial and operating data. There are obvious steps that regulators can take to close the reporting loopholes that the industry has been exploiting.

In a new report, researchers and scholars from the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose argue that just as environmental, social, and governance reporting is essential to help navigate climate change, enhanced 10-K reporting is necessary to reveal the nature and extent of Big Tech’s market dominance. A 10-K is a comprehensive report filed annually by a publicly-traded company about its financial performance and is required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The report contains much more detail than a company’s annual report, which is sent to its shareholders before an annual meeting to elect company directors.

Only through this transparency can we see if these giants owe their continued growth to value creation or to value extraction.

How I Quit My Smartphone Addiction and Reclaimed 7 Years of My Life

Hamish Johnson with a clickbaity title and some guidance on how he cut his screen time from 3.5 hours to 30 minutes.

Johnson recommends using a dumbphone and paper journals. A photo of Neo is included as well. I added my own quote.

“You hear that Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability!” – Agent Smith

Want to keep your iPhone or Android? Here is how to win the fight for your attention.

  • Level One – Delete the bad apps that will monopolize your attention, don’t actually help you get stuff done, and do not spark joy.
  • Level Two – If you cannot delete a stubborn system app, use the settings to at least disable it.
  • Level Three – Make it difficult to reinstall the bad apps. Use parental controls to only allow you to download apps appropriate for three year olds.
  • Level Four – Create a passcode to unlock your parent controls and give the code to someone else.

(..) ( l: ) ( .-. ) ( :l ) (..)

web3 and higher education

Happy Birthday to a good friend and regular DL supporter Bryan Alexander. Alexander’s blog and Future Trends Forum series should be a regular piece of your information-seeking puzzle.

The link above will take you to a recent episode of the forum focused on web3 and higher ed. I’ve been slowly taking time to dig into these distributed ledger technologies. This video is the latest resource that has me thinking.

Languishing: what to do if you’re feeling restless, apathetic or empty

If you’ve been feeling restless, apathetic, or even emotionally empty since the pandemic began, you may be “languishing”. Languishing is described as an emotional state of limbo, aimlessness, and low mood, which can last for a long time.

Jolanta Burke indicates that while languishing isn’t itself considered a mental health disorder, it could ultimately lead to anxiety or depression.

To understand how to reduce languishing, it’s important to understand the difference between languishers and flourishers (people who experience high levels of mental health). Languishers are more self-oriented – wanting to find their own meaning and improve their own happiness. Flourishers, on the other hand, are more focused on others and contributing to the greater good. This can be in any form, such as performing acts of kindness for others (such as making someone a cup, helping a colleague at work, or even volunteering.

Throughout human history, we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.


However hard we strive, it is logical that we can only be as happy as our minds are at peace.

Say hey at or on the social network of your choice.

Leave A Comment