Monthly Archives: November 2014

New York Times: “Click Bait Is a Distracting Affront to Our Focus,” by Gloria Mark

November 25, 2014

The grand challenge associated with our digital age is maintaining focus of attention. On average, people switch their focus of attention when working with digital media about every three minutes. The design of personal computers, smart devices and, of course, the Internet all contribute to this fragmentation of our attention. Click bait as a design element is a natural evolution, and consequence, of the Internet that affects our flow of attention.

Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity. While we can’t blame all attention distraction on click bait, as with any addictive relationship, it is an enabler. When we switch our attention to a new activity, the cognitions that we used in the first task remain as we transition to the subsequent task. This attention residue adds to our cognitive load as we keep switching our focus of attention and trying to reorient to new topics. Once overloaded, we tend to do more lightweight activities. And that makes us even more susceptible to the lure of click bait.

Read the full story on the New York Times website.

The Kernel: “11 women who are changing geek culture” (Karen Tanenbaum featured)

November 9, 2014

By Ann Hoevel

While popular culture has invested a lot of screentime in the archetype of the nerdy white guy, women in geek culture have, for a long time, been invisible. But that in no way means they don’t exist. Though comic book, technology, and gaming industries have historically catered to men, women have always been a part of them—both as consumers and as creators—outside the spotlight.

Read the full story on the Kernel website.