Facebook-addled Boomer Behavior

Holla back y’all. Here’s Digitally Literate, issue #339.

This week I helped publish the following:

Please subscribe if you would like this newsletter to show up in your inbox. Reach out and say hello at hello@digitallyliterate.net.

How to enter ‘flow state’ on command

Flow is described as a state of ‘effortless effort,’ where we feel like we’re propelled through an activity, and everything else seems to disappear. More specifically, flow refers to any moments of rapt attention and total absorption. You’re so focused on the task at hand that everything else seems to disappear.

Researchers have discovered 22 catalysts that can help you prepare your environment and quickly drop into a flow state. A few of these include distraction management, dopamine triggering, and concentration.

The Personal Brand Is Dead

An interesting move is happening as we think about digital identity.

I’ve spent years urging students and colleagues to create and maintain their digital identities. I’ve noticed that many of my students would slyly indicate that they have a “finsta” account, or a fake Instagram account where they would post content they don’t want to be attributed to them.

Finstas gained some notoriety after Senator Blumenthal asked about ending these practices.

Media outlets spent this time trolling legislators for not understanding technology but also suggesting that teens don’t need these tactics anymore.

I think these perspectives are misguided. I think this is an excellent example of how most adults (I know) don’t know how to use these tools, spaces, and practices. We need to learn from the kids to see what they’re doing.

The youngest adult generation and the most online generation is frustrated with being surveilled and embarrassed by attention-seeking behaviors.

The metaverse in 2040

A new Pew Research Report shares insight from experts on the likely evolution of a truly immersive metaverse. Will it be hype? hope? hell? Perhaps all three.

The results are most understandably mixed. The full report is here. I shared my response to the survey here.

One of the top themes from the research suggests that the next-generation networked-knowledge ecosystem can be built in ways that better serve people than the current web does. Let’s hope so. We thought this would also be true of the Internet a decade ago.


As we think about current and future technologies, one of the key questions focuses on trust. This post from Scott Galloway shares insight on the question, from the vantage point of crypto…but the lesson is important for all of our interactions in these spaces.

Trust is expensive, which is another way to say it’s valuable. But it’s also free — among the most valuable assets you can build are not lying and demonstrating competence. We’re in an era of overpromising, and it often feels there are few consequences for exaggerating, or just outright lying. The richest man in the world has been overpromising what his (very good) cars can do for years. Our last president promised anything and everything, and he’s the unchallenged leader of one of our two political parties. But the truth is like air trapped underwater. Eventually, the plates shift and the truth bubbles up to the sunlight.

6 things we’ve learned about how the pandemic disrupted learning

  • Surprise! Students learned less when they were remote
  • Students at high-poverty schools were hit hardest
  • Different states saw different gaps
  • High school graduation rates didn’t change much
  • Many high school grads chose to delay college
  • Schools can do something about it

So this isn’t going to be a COVID recovery. This is just good practice for kids.

Elon Musk Is Not Playing Four-Dimensional Chess

Last week as I was publishing DL, news started coming through about Elon Musk backing out of his bid to acquire Twitter. I was surprised, but not shocked at this news.

What did surprise me was that my partner commented in passing, “Hey, did you see that Musk is trying to back out of buying Twitter….and Twitter is suing him?” What?!?! Now that is interesting. Even more interesting than my partner highlighting content I need to share in DL. 🙂

The lead link for this section is from Charlie Warzel who indicates that Musk is a master of pseudo-events that commandeer our attention for a bit, we take the bait, and then he moves on. In an age where attention (and trust) are our most valuable assets, we have a class of individuals who are mega-wealthy, powerful, and enjoy taking time while bored to spread bullshit, attract speculation and outrage, force us to change our actions, and then move on.

Musk commandeers the attention, legions speculate, but ultimately we end up where we started. The only winner is Musk.

The 85% Rule for Learning

Research suggests that learning is optimized for humans and machines when we succeed around 85% of the time. To apply this rule to your learning, consider applying different amounts of support to calibrate your success rate.

The 85% rule suggests that you should fine-tune the amount of support you use depending on the success rate you’re experiencing. Suppose you’re preparing for a test. The easiest way to solve the problems would be to do them with an open book and the solutions in front of you. The hardest way to solve the problems would be to work on novel problems under test-like conditions with the book closed.

If you’re getting more than one out of every five problems wrong, you might want to add extra help. If you’re getting nearly all the problems right, it’s time to up the difficulty.

To be scientifically literate is to empower yourself to know when someone else is full of shit.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

I’ve been taking some time researching and building a technology EDC kit for when I’m out on the road and away from home.

Say hey at hello@digitallyliterate.net or on the social network of your choice.

Leave A Comment