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FOMO is learned. At some point, I got burned for not being on top of something and I decided that I needed to check email all the time or be outed as a lazy or a fraudster (or a lazy fraudster). Or, I might have seen others get pummelled for not responding fast enough.

In the first case, I’ve seen email threads get pages deep within a few minutes of the first email. The initial comment or question might have ignited into a firestorm.

The second, that would be Kickstarter. I’ve seen some projects wait far too long to respond to backers and comments go from snowflakes to avalanches in a few hours.

The result is to be plugged in all the time. It means consuming lots of noise. It means less time to focus on things that matter and more time on fire detection.

This is maybe where assistants can play a role. Alerts and notifications shouldn’t be for something new being posted on Instagram but for the sentiment of a conversation.

“It looks like a raging debate is going on that you might be able to quash…”

“It seems like you were misunderstood by some people…”

“Now’s probably a good time to chime in…”

There are social media teams for celebrities, there are endless feeds, there is a microsecond news cycle. We’re not meant for this. We can only process so much. This is when we actually need bots or some form of automation to pay attention for us so we can focus.

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