On Gmail? Here’s how to prevent ‘anyone on Google+’ from being able to email you

Have you heard the news? Google just launched a new Gmail ‘feature’ that basically allows anyone to email you if they know your Google+ handle.

OH NO

Given that your Google+ handle nearly pretty much has to be your full name, the potential for abuse here is not insignificant.

Fortunately (for you) there’s a handy way to get around this and you can thank Mr Will Oremus for the tip off. Ready?

And that’s that. Why oh why Google think this is a good idea, I don’t know. Alas, there it is. Question for you, dear reader, will you be adjusting your settings? Or will you be leaving ‘as is’? Which way and why. Leave a comment and let me know. I’m intrigued.

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Update: Further clarification from a Google employee makes light of this. I guess the difference between having your contact details on your website and Google making you email-able by anyone on Google+ is that Google didn’t make the decision in the first instance, you did.

 

the pressure of immediacy

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

Mobile phone and the Japanese 2

— Image via cocoarmani

First, I want you to apply the following quote from this Fjord iPad post to all modern smart phones –

It may seem like a small change, but a generation which has instant access, quite literally, at its fingertips, will be a quite different generation to that which did not. We used to consider that someone was erudite if they had spent a number of years accumulating knowledge and expertise which they could deploy at the precise moment which it was required.
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Given that this information is all now on hand, people will come to rely more on an ability to recall data from the system. Ability to focus, and knowledge of the best places to look, will become the most important facets to consider. These are fundamental changes.

The key word/sentence I’m going to zero in on this time is ‘the ability to focus‘.

We’re losing it. 

Second, I want you to think of that thing where you’re talking at the pub and someone says: ‘Oh did you see that thing today? Oh my God it was soooo funny! You haven’t seen it? No, I’ll pull it up.’

Not only is it massively anti-social (we’ll come back to that), but also – in the time that it takes you to reach for your phone and start googling for ‘IKEA Monkey’ or whatever, the conversation has undoubtedly moved on and no one is actually that interested come sharing time. Forget it. Move on. Leave it.

It doesn’t matter.

These two notes are what, to my mind at least, drive the ill-perceived pressure of immediacy. As in, just because we can look up just about anything on the glass screens in our pockets doesn’t necessarily mean that we should. The pressure to know something immediately is balderdash. It is fallacy, claptrap, and poppycock. It is a make-believe blanket of self-made suffocation that we have placed upon our own social and professional situations that really has no need to exist at all.

So what do we do? 

  1. At dinner, play the phone stacking game. I have and it works.
  2. At work, create a digital hat stand for meeting rooms.
  3. At your desk, invest in an NFC-enabled on/off mat for your phone.
  4. At the pub, focus on your friends.
  5. At home, unplug your WiFi; break habits.

Why?

Two quotes for you –

‘If we learn to disconnect in order to connect with ourselves, the impact will be amazing’
– Arianna Huffington

‘I wish I’d spent more time on the internet’
– Nobody on their deathbed, ever.

 

Stop. Think. Breathe.

Stay in the moment.

The pressure of immediacy does not exist.