17 thoughts on “Realtime & the off switch”

  1. Won’t switching off the wifi and/or the data connection achieve the same thing instead of doing that for each app?

    1. Actually that is turning off all the apps at one go. What I am talking about is individual off switches in an app. I think the difference is macro-off or micro-off:-)

    1. Airplane mode = no phone calls or urgent text messages. My parents live in India and are old… not being able to get their phone calls anytime of the night is not an option.

  2. The problem is the organization paradigm, MVC.
    MVC in the 21th century:
    M Model as self organizing data
    V View or other appropriate out like TTS adjusted to context/ mobile/ big screen/
    C Collaboration between machine[s] and user[s]

    In other words the OS should provide the collaboration controls to autonomously filter on different level depending on what’s going on. You should not be forced to do it by app.

  3. Couldn’t agree more. However, what do you do when people start to get offended that you didn’t respond to their e-mail until 12 hours later? Or you didn’t message them back immediately? It’s a cultural shift that requires combating

  4. This is interesting. Would you proactively turn Twitter off whenever your mind gives your finger the urge to tap the app icon or would you schedule Twitter to be turned off in advance of a dinner with friends? It’s a small nuance but it’s important as to whether the off switch acts as a diversion or a barrier.

    Also, I think what you describe goes beyond just real-time apps. While they may be the worst offenders, some people probably feel the same urge to check GigaOM rather than Twitter. You may argue social network is different than news but regardless, there’s something here in terms of rerouting the spectrum of information updates (from ephemeral to permanent) into short bursts that can be consumed and then be done away with. This is what I’m thinking about at Skim.Me too.

  5. When I first joined Bell Labs in the early 80s, my laboratory instituted 4 hour periods for focus and concentration … you would pick one in the morning or the afternoon and you had control of who would access you. The local pbx had been set up to allow up to 3 phone numbers of your picking to come through – everyone else could leave a voice mail. Computer network access went dark (admittedly it was primitive at the time).

    About five years ago I helped a fantastically creative company try something similar, but addressing newer technology. Emergency calls can get through – everything else goes black except for certain types of net communications within the company. They believe it has made a significant change in their creativity and productivity.

    Increasingly real sign of those with power is the ability to own one’s own time and that means a big “Off” switch.

    1. Steve

      Thanks for that thoughtful comment. I totally agree with what you said and I am waiting for apps to implement the off-switch. Twitter and Facebook should take the lead 🙂

  6. In “Now” world, we want stay current on Super Relevant content, offers, .. but we end up consuming a lot of irrelevant SPAM and wasting time. The Apps need to connected to Super Relevancy Engine that understands user intent, behavior, context, … That is the OFF switch.
    Yusuf Ansari
    Founder, Intuition Intelligence, Inc.

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