I had a long conversation with an editor over LinkedIn the other day.
It was productive and enlightening, full of insights into my workflow and helpful in terms of knowing some of the upcoming topics that make sense for me to cover. I enjoyed sharing a few comments about my upcoming book, and how that labor of love is debuting soon. We even chatted about his kids and their soccer games coming up.
There was only one problem.
It was later at night, long after supper and during a football match I really wanted to watch. I don’t regret having the conversation, but I do regret when it took place.
According to a new study by Microsoft, it turns out I’m not the only one working harder than I ever imagined, especially during this strange remote work period. Because we have easy access to technology, phones, online tools, and laptops it means we tend to use them even more.
The study found that we’re working about 10% more on average. That means, in my case, I’m clocking in after hours and during football games.
The allure of social media is partly to blame. I’m a major fan of LinkedIn. Of all the social media platforms, it seems the least addictive. I like all of the talking head videos as much as anyone else, but this network caters to a more serious crowd. And it caters to a crowd that is hopefully logged out a bit more and not posting birthday parties photos all day.
Still, the chat is always a click away. I have the LinkedIn app installed on my phone, but I have been considering whether that is really the smartest idea in the world.
Allure is an interesting word. As someone who likes to fish, I’ve noticed part of that word includes “lure” (which means to attract). Alluring technically means finding fascination. Are we really finding it though? Obsessive social media use is alluring because we never obtain anything. The “lure” keeps moving suspiciously out of range. We can’t quite ever obtain it, which is the entire point. What is alluring is always elusive. As the lure shifts away from us we keep pursuing it.
To take the analogy further: Companies like Facebook are fishing for you, but they never want to catch you. Catching means providing a final product. The goal is always to attract and hold the prize just inches away at all times.
From a scientific standpoint, social media companies also know things that are alluring play on a portion of the brain called the salience network that helps us determine what is worth focusing on. Of course, we think the LinkedIn chat is important, especially if it’s a boss or coworker.
We attune to what is alluring, and we tune out the things that seem trivial. At night, we are not as equipped to throttle our attention, and social media plays into that dynamic.
That chat tool is easy to find and use, and we’re convinced it can lead to good productivity, but it’s an illusion of work.
Part of the issue is that it might not be real work at all. It might be a waste of time, or at least so time-consuming that there would be a much better way to communicate (say, by making a phone call or emailing someone).
We crave accomplishment, though. We work more because we want to accomplish more. That extra 10% we’re working? It might actually slow us down and make us achieve less in the day, not more. At least, we might miss out on the best type of work.
The secret, as always, is to use these incredible digital tools in a way that is productive and is intentional.
We can win this battle. We just need the salience network to work in our favor. And maybe a more radical approach like deleting a few of the apps.
Trump, barred from Twitter and Facebook, says he's launching his own social media site – CBC.ca
Nine months after being expelled from social media for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection, former president Donald Trump said Wednesday he’s launching a new media company with its own social media platform.
Trump says his goal in launching the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) and its “Truth Social” app is to create a rival to the big tech companies that have shut him out and denied him the megaphone that was paramount to his national rise.
“We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favourite American President has been silenced,” he said in a statement. “This is unacceptable.”
Conservative voices actually do well on traditional social media. On Wednesday, half of Facebook’s 10 top performing link posts were from conservative media, commentators or politicians, according to a daily list compiled by a New York Times technology columnist and an internet studies professor using Facebook’s own data.
TMTG talking big
Trump has spoken about launching his own social media site ever since he was barred from Twitter and Facebook. An earlier effort to launch a blog on his existing website was abandoned after the page drew dismal views.
TMTG has not set its sights low. In addition to the Truth Social app, which is expected to soft-launch next month with a nationwide rollout early next year, the company says it is planning a video-on-demand service dubbed TMTG+ that will feature entertainment programming, news and podcasts.
One slide in a TMTG presentation on its website includes a graphic of TMTG’s potential competitors, which range from Facebook and Twitter to Netflix and Disney+ to CNN. The same slide suggests that over the long term TMTG will also become a power in cloud computing and payments and suggests it will go head-to-head with Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Stripe.
TMTG also takes some jabs at Trump’s previous favourite social network. Slides accompanying the Truth Social preorders listing in Apple’s app store depict a social network that strongly resembles Twitter, right down to short messages and user handles preceded by “@” signs.
The same graphics also feature a user named Jack’s Beard, who in one image fumes when an employee pushes back on an order to delete a user and its posts, calling it “kinda an overreach.”
The Jack’s Beard account uses the handle @jack, which is the real Twitter handle of Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO; Dorsey’s long scraggly beard has also drawn attention during his congressional appearances over Zoom.
Terms of service
The terms of service for Truth Social, meanwhile, bar users from annoying any of the site’s employees and from statements that “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site.” It was not immediately clear who the “us” in that statement refers to.
In a release, the new venture announced it had been created through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWA), and said it seeks to become a publicly listed company.
DWA, based in Miami, is a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Such publicly traded companies are designed to list the shares of a private company more quickly than a traditional initial public offering.
In practice, that means the SPAC acquires a private firm and then changes its name and other details to those of the acquired firm.
Deal has initial value of $875M US
SPACs pay for their acquisitions with cash provided by investors who bought into the SPAC’s initial public offering. DWA’s Sept. 8 IPO raised $287.5 million US, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
DWA said it has raised roughly $293 million in cash, which it will use to grow TMTG’s ventures. Among the company’s biggest shareholders are several institutional investors, including Lighthouse Investment Partners, D. E. Shaw & Co., and Radcliffe Capital Management, according to an SEC filing. DWA said more details about the deal will be disclosed in upcoming filings.
The deal has an initial enterprise value, a measure that takes into account a company’s total debts and assets, of $875 million, according to the release. It still requires the approval of shareholders of both DWA and TMTG, as well as regulators.
Shares of Digital World Acquisition soared 94 per cent to $19.32 in morning trading.
Sask. government says social media posts about ICU patient transfers should be 'disregarded' – CTV News
The Saskatchewan government released a statement Thursday morning saying social media posts about ICU patient transfers should be “disregarded” following immense confusion among doctors and officials over planned ICU patient transfers to Ontario.
The statement comes following social media posts by doctors in Saskatchewan and Ontario that said upcoming ICU patient transfers from Saskatchewan to Ontario had been cancelled.
Dr. Hassan Masri, an ICU physician from Saskatoon, tweeted the Saskatchewan government has called off all further patient transfers to Ontario ICUs, which the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre denies.
Masri told CTV News Wednesday evening there were plans in place for “a lot more” Saskatchewan patients to be sent out east for care this week.
Dr. Michael Warner from Toronto said he expected to receive a Saskatchewan COVID-19 patient at his hospital on Thursday, but the transfer was cancelled by the Saskatchewan government.
Ontario Health executive vice president Dr. Chris Simpson told CP24 on Tuesday there are plans in place to transfer an additional six patients throughout Thursday and Friday – which would bring the total number of patient transfers from Saskatchewan to 12.
Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) president Marlo Pritchard responded to that statement on Wednesday morning saying that is not the case.
CTV News reached out to the premier’s office Wednesday evening to ask for clarity about the claims made by the doctors.
The statement from the government on Thursday morning not did clarify why Ontario officials believed six more patients were coming or why doctors were under the impression those additional transfers had been cancelled.
A spokesperson for the Saskatchewan government said the province will announce all confirmed ICU patient transfers through official channels.
On Thursday afternoon the province said three more patients will be transferred to Ontario in the coming days.
With files from CTVRegina.ca’s Michaela Solomon
Motor racing-F1 drivers defend Netflix series after Verstappen snub
Leading Formula One drivers defended the popular Netflix “Drive to Survive” fly-on-the-wall series on Thursday after Red Bull’s championship leader Max Verstappen said he was snubbing it because he felt some of the rivalries were “faked”.
The docu-series, now filming its fourth season, has been credited as a big factor in fuelling the sport’s growth in the United States.
Dutch 24-year-old Verstappen earlier told the Associated Press that he recognised the importance of the series but did not like being a part of it and would not be giving any interviews.
Mercedes’ seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton, Verstappen’s title rival, told reporters at the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, that he had noticed a surge in interest in the country.
“In this last couple of years it’s been the steepest rise and more and more people are talking about it, more and more people engaging,” he said.
“The amount of emails and messages I get from people I’ve known for years in the States and who never knew what I was doing and now are hooked and can’t wait to come. I think a lot of them are coming this weekend.”
Verstappen’s Mexican team mate Sergio Perez, a two-times race winner who featured heavily last season, said he respected what the documentary was doing.
“What it has done for Formula One is tremendous. It’s really something I appreciate,” he said.
“The way they sell the sport is a bit of a drama. It is a show but at the end of the day it is good for the sport and is good for the fans so I am happy with it.”
McLaren’s Lando Norris, voted the second-most popular driver after Verstappen in a fan survey published on Thursday, also appreciated the show.
“I’m fine with it,” he said. “I think it’s a cool thing. Coming to America there are so many people who are now into Formula One just because of watching ‘Drive to Survive.’ I think I come across on it alright.
“I think they do a good job. I can’t really speak on behalf of Max.”
His Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo agreed: “Most of us experience the effect it’s had on the sport. There’s certainly been a lot of growth and I honestly see that most in America.
“There’s times where you want a little bit of space or privacy but I do think if you let them know no cameras in this room they are pretty good with that.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Stephen Coates)
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