Present Shock

Douglass Rushkoff has a new book out, Present Shock, and it’s waiting for me to go pick up at my local bookstore, Headhouse Books.

OK, OK, I’ll pick it up this weekend.

In the meantime I’m listening to an interview with him on NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook. Here he is talking about the kind of false now-ness we experience when our media is always on, something is always pinging us, asking us to check it:

RUSHKOFF: There really are two “nows.” The “be here now,” that Bhagavan Das was talking about back in the 60s is the real now—the Buddhist now. Being in the moment, the constantly churning, changing moment. In some ways, the digital tools that we’re using today to address a kind of “now” isn’t the real now, that’s a different thing, that’s something that’s going on somewhere else.

ASHBROOK: Like what’s going on on Facebook now, have I read my latest tweets…

RUSHKOFF: Right. And those are really just portraits of the immediate past. Those are rear-view mirrors. Facebook creates a kind of present shock, in the way that friends you had in the second grade are suddenly back in your present. All of the distance that time afforded you—between your past and your present—really dissolves, it collapses on Facebook, where everybody’s picture is the same size—your past your future—it’s all just there now. So you lose that sense of temporal space between you and what’s already happened.

Sounds like really good stuff. I’ll post more when I actually pick up the book.

Get the book: Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now {amazon}.

More Douglas Rushkoff on this blog here.