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  • Digital Detangler

Tech Blunders: Part 2

A continuation of last week's tech blunders...

Netflix > Ebay

I have been experimenting a lot lately with a Chrome extension called Stylebot that allows you to manipulate web page stylesheets for particular pages or globally. I recently added a global change that removed all of the images from the web. The internet without pictures is much less distracting, but I may have become too efficient. I was quite proud of myself for placing an order for a DVD on Ebay without ever seeing an image of the product. Only after it arrived and our DVD player started having issues did I see that the movie was on Netflix.

Tunnels of Distraction

On a recent trip abroad, I found myself in a hurry on the Paris subway. I had scheduled a French lesson through Craigslist and was running late. As I surveyed the subway, I noticed how many people had tucked themselves into their smartphone cocoons, oblivious to the world around us. One man's screen caught my attention; he was playing a game where a ball rolled down a hallway and he had to move it from side to side to prevent it hitting walls that would appear. My thoughts reeled - this is so stupid, wait is he going to make it, awesome, this is so stupid, woah nice one, you can do it - until a new thought hit me. What stop was that? I had missed my stop.

Way Too Much Time Online

Having started helping other people view their digital habits, I built a tool to show a client how much time she was spending on any given site each day. One day, her time online was well above her average. Eager to get to the bottom of what had happened, I looked closer and was even more horrified... If you added up the time she spent at each site on that day, the total was more than 24 hours! It turned out to be a bug in my homemade tool.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out the open source Chrome Extension I've been working on: ScrollStopper.


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