Do you remember when you had to “Keep up with the Joneses?” It was a serious challenge during the early years of my marriage when the lifestyle of Minimalism had not yet entered the psyche of my cultural group.
Today we need to keep up with technology, a challenge which sadly can only be approximated. To remain in touch with the consistent developments and changes even in one’s own niche, be it business, the professions, or technology, is indeed a full time job in itself.
Introducing the Screenome
I was fascinated to learn two related new words which have now filtered into our contemporary language. For sometime I have been familiar with the concept of the genome which describes the individual set of chromosomes possessed by each individual. And now, this word has morphed into a Screenome. (At this moment I note that my computer software is telling me that Screenome is misspelt!)
Screenomics describes the individual activities of any one person which may be recorded on the multiple screens on which he or she has worked during the day.
Researchers analysed the screenshots taken every few minutes, from several dozen people who had consented to such recordings. These threads showed that “people switched from one screen activity to another continually, every 20 seconds on average, and rarely spent more than 20 minutes uninterrupted on any one activity, even a full length movie.”
Doing some research, I have just learned I can subscribe to a service which will analyse my screen time. I gather this software would be used in a business environment. It would allow an employer to scan the activities of his employee and note precisely what he has been doing with his time. George Orwell’s prognostications of Big Brother seem to have arrived.
An interesting article in the New York Times entitled “‘Screen Time’ is over”. Here is a link: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/31/health/screen-time-mental-health-screenome.html It describes the challenges of interpreting research in this area. There is an inherent problem to this type of investigation because of the difficulty of finding a control group. Where can you find a group of educated people who do not use (and abuse) screen time?
My own Screen
I decided to do a little bit of research on my own screen usage and have calculated that I browsed 123 websites yesterday. I have not done an analysis of these sites. I have not calculated whether these links tied up with my interest in mindfulness, or meditation, or politics, or ageing well, or cognitive decline, or neuroplasticity, or cognitive reserve.
However, what I have done is an analysis of the 61 emails I received yesterday. It is staggering to realise that 36 of these incoming emails were on topics related to self-improvement. It does sound like a bit of an obsession when evaluated by this methodology. Within this category, 10 were offers were related to the improvement of my Writing Skills, and 15 on what I will term Lifestyle improvement. The remaining groups were information on Neuroscience, Coaching, Mindfulness, Ageing and Politics.
Opportunities for self-analysis
I have often been asked by acquaintances how I spend my time on the computer. In the past, I have not been able to answer them. Now, I have some hard insights into my own behaviour!
This indeed has come as quite a revelation. It has given helped me to understand myself better! I knew I had a high degree of curiosity, was always looking for opportunities to increase my knowledge in areas of interest. However, to learn, I had actually received 36 opportunities in one day to raise my awareness in topics of interest comes as a fascinating and insightful discovery!
While I am somewhat ambiguous about how I can derive an income on the internet, the temptation is there. Eight of the incoming emails were offerings of information on how I can monetise my blog going forward. In investigating this area of earning, I have been amazed to discover how much money is made by those who have mastered the techniques of deriving a passive income stream from ongoing internet offerings.
The remaining incoming emails I classified as Jewish Interest, Existential Threats, Bridge, Politics, General Interest and Social Media.
Human behaviour and Research
Since my study of Psychology in the 1950s, I have always been fascinated by the scientific methodology of research in this field. Intelligence testing was the first human capacity to receive scientific validations with Binet’s work in 1904 as the creator of the first IQ Test. Subsequently, tests of personality and emotional intelligence have become essential tools for selection in the army, the police force and private industry. Following on further human characteristics have been measured and include artistic ability, spiritual quotients, and mindfulness; as well as many tests of the sensory modalities of sight and hearing. And now we have screenomics!
How would you feel if your boss was able to measure your screenome?