The key, Powers, said, is to create gaps between these periods of connectedness. Just as white space on a page draws attention to what is most visually important, digital white space can help us focus on those ideas that take some time to formulate.
Digital white space is nice metaphor and Powers’ himself ran with it in a blog post on his site. In case you missed it, you can listen to Powers’ discussing his very sensible approach to digital life with Jerry Brito in an interview we mentioned here a few months ago.
White space, however, may become increasingly hard to find. Marshall Kirkpatrick discusses Chetan Sharma’s vision of an uber-connected world in, “How 50 Billion Connected Devices Could Transform Brand Marketing & Everyday life.” These devices will include not only smart phones and tablet PCs, but also cereal boxes. What do you do with a connected cereal box, you ask?
“With a cereal box? You’ll communicate about health related issues, add social elements, easy ordering. A brand can build a direct relationship with the consumer without relying on retail stores. Look at the aftermarket, 30% of the diapers ordered are now ordered online. There’s no reason why that can’t happen on other objects. I think the chance for the brand to interact with consumers directly is huge.
Earlier Sharma explained, regarding the uber-connectivity he envsions:
This is where it needs to go and will go in 10 years, making everyday experiences much better and friction free. If a person has a desire to learn or shop or engage in social interaction, it’s right there. Beyond just doing things on televisions and cell phones, you’ll be able to do these things on a wall anywhere. It’s about reducing friction. You can accomplish any given task today with 50 different steps but this future of connected devices is all about making things much easier.
Good luck finding that white space. No really, good luck, because we need that white space.
After reading this last piece, I vaguely remembered a movie that gave us a picture of this frictionless world, and then it came to me: