[Published Article] Digital Hygiene – Pandemic Lockdowns and the Need to Suspend Fast Thinking


The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the global trend towards spending increasing amounts of time online. I explore some of the potential negative consequences of lockdown-induced increases in time spent online, and I argue that the stressful context of the pandemic and lockdowns is exacerbated by being online beyond that which is required for essential purposes. Time spent online may increase stress levels by perpetuating the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response, draining a person’s energy and diminishing one’s ability to deal with illness. I frame the situation as one in which the pandemic context, combined with a mandatory need to be online more, forces many people into what Daniel Kahneman calls “System 1 thinking”, or “fast thinking”. I argue that digital hygiene requires the suspension of System 1 thinking, and that “philosophical perception” resonates with potential remedies in this regard. Keywords: digital society, System 1 thinking, System 2 thinking, philosophical perception, lockdowns.

Link: https://www.pdcnet.org/ft/content/ft_2020_0009_0003_0033_0047

See my other published articles: https://www.perspectiveproject.co.za/academic/