Step Away From The Machine looks at how our favorite machines are changing our behavior, not always for the better.

In a major report produced in the US on what the internet might be like in 2020, Glenn Ricart of the Internet Society warns that many people could have lost touch with reality because of the amount of time they spend socialising or working online.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. This post is entitled “Laptop Confessionals while Sitting on a Bench in an Empty Park with my Dog” or “Where or Where did the clown go after his Winter Olympic Stint?”
    This is quite interesting. I had a rule when visiting family to never go surfing in a guest’s house. That if I were there physically, I would and should give and receive the other’s attention. However, I usually saw others having to check their ebay items, their emails, etc. The ones that didn’t, sat and watched TV, that other evil technological culprit. Then once or twice I was guilty of this supposed crime, and had to evaluate my actions.
    I remember back years ago to a Slate article where I had read of some technological guy’s dream of everyone sitting around the dining room table. Doing what? Playing monopoly? No, it would be looking at a tablet. Since then, in my own home, while the physical nature of the family being together completely disintegrated, I found myself more online in those four walls.
    I don’t know, Mr. MacClown? These machines possess us, and we possess them. We create them in turn to be created into something else by them. That’s the paradox of life as philosophers and writers have long been telling through all the ages from stone to electronic. Still, somethings dont change all that much.
    I did see hope when I met some online personae. We ignored these machines for the most part and talked, walked, and used our senses more than I had in years with those more familiar. I would expect it has less to do with loneliness and more to do with finding people who are “one of your kind”. Some people who have always had trouble doing that, aren’t necessarily lonely- socially deprived. And I wouldn’t define that as trouble nor so much as shyness, so much as selectiveness. They may just be in a very small niche market and many have accepted that as aloneness for a large portion of their definition.
    Large social networking for younger adults have more to do with age oriented passing themes than definitive behaviour, or? It’s places like that that I visit only on rare occasions, so I couldn’t comment intelligently.
    Now tell me, whatever happened to Birdie the Early Bird in your land, Ron?