“Information is Beautiful” has done it again by adapting the classic Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs to the digital age with their new “Hierarchy of Digital Distractions”, cataloging all the things in the web2.0 “always-on” instant-access world that come before work.
In this diagram, each level in this hierarchy trumps the next.
So, if you get a new msg on Facebook, but your landline rings, you’ll take the landline call. You might have a spasmodic moment of ‘uh? wadd I do’. But, usually, you’ll take the call.
Similarly, if you get a new SMS whilst opening a new online dating message, you’ll be hard pressed not to read that SMS. It’ll take a great force of will. You may attempt to do both simultaneously. But if you really observe yourself closely, one will take priority – even if it’s only by milliseconds. The SMS will win your attention.
Randall Hand is a computer graphics programmer and news junky that's been working in the field for the last 15 years. He's responsible for visualizations generated on some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, ytnef, mullion support in ParaView, and VizWorld.com.
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