The Onion on data overload

By Razib Khan | May 19, 2009 4:56 am

Amusing web view parodying the data-bleed overload of today’s youth, from 5-minute-twitter-updates to a sea of cellphone pictures at parties of people posing like tools. Perhaps a transparent society is a society of trivialities?

Police Slog Through 40,000 Insipid Party Pics To Find Cause Of Dorm Fire

  • agnostic

    Among my undergrad friends, or from what I witnessed when tutoring teenagers for 2 1/2 years, that stuff doesn’t drain much of their attention.
    The real attention sponge is being constantly glued to their cell phones, reading or sending texts. It’s non-stop.
    However, maybe this just says that young people aren’t allowed to be around each other as much these days — they would be yammering face-to-face with their bffs if they could, rather than do it through texts, but parents today are paranoid about their kids being out and about.
    So, lacking the freedom to roam around mostly unsupervised, they have to satisfy their need to keep tabs on the group through cell phones.
    The medium for incessant yakking has surely changed, but I wonder if the total time per day spent yakking about nothing with friends has changed. Before texting, we used to blather for hours on landline phones, after all. And in person before that. But still — killing lots of time, no matter how it was done.
    If I had to bet, I’d say kids these days spend less time chatting — it’s more enjoyable face-to-face, or at least using voices, so you’re less likely to want to stop.


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


See More


RSS Razib’s Pinboard

Edifying books

Collapse bottom bar