Digital-akyn (digital-aqyn) — behaviour pattern of the author on the Internet, based on improvisation. When posting their status or sending personal messages, digital-akyns fully improvise in response to any social phenomenon or to the situation in the information space.

A kind of akyns contest is created spontaneously in the spots of web publishing. During the contest akyns try to make fun of each other or to distinguish themselves by improvisation of any kind just to entertain people. Vote tool is embodied in “likes” or comments that define the extent to which the audience is engaged.

It is impossible to save works of akyns due to the swift passing of such art, so a large part of it of gets lost or forgotten in the news feed, unless there is a journalist or ethnographer, who carefully records such speakings.

Akyns carry on endless vague dialogues in personal messages with their family or friends. Often the reason for the talk is what they see. They share photos or sporadic thoughts, sticking to the principle of “what I see is what I sing”. Akyns make it up as they go without beginning and without end, and do not disrupt their messages with such conventionalities as “hello” or “bye”.

Tablet zombies (or phone zombie) — people with devices in their hands, frozen in space, as if they had been going somewhere but were taken aback by the need to respond to the e-mail or check the updates.

They can go slowly, with the tablet in their hands, looking like zombies. Sometimes they hide in the corners, and take the shape of plankton ,shrunk to itself and bobbing about in the sea.

“I got that bruise yesterday at shopping mall, having run into the tablet zombie with my forehead. That person stared at his Samsung just in place where people get off the escalator.”

Tablet zombies can create hazardous situations in public places such as Metro or street. Some users claim that they can follow the beaten track, gazing into the tablet, without casting a glance at the road, and don’t get into any trouble. Despite such statements, that movement is dangerous both for other people, and for the person who does this. Person looking at the tablet while walking down the street or Metro runs the risk of bumping into something hard.

Facebook-shower (morning Facebook) — the phenomenon when for a person the first thing to do in the morning is to read the Facebook feed.

Some believe that this morning information inflow helps the brain to wake up. So some people “switch on” their brains in the morning by reading news or destructing several rows of beads. Others believe that this presents a manifestation of information addiction, and one should keep a tight rein on such actions.

According to the research conducted by SOASTA, 92 percent of New-Yorkers start their day with a smartphone check. Most often, respondents open e-mail (67%) and read Facebook news feed (40%).

The key to this behaviour is most likely to be found in the pleasure principle.

A person takes delight in the actions of other people with his or her virtual profile. It turns out that the pleasure is quite real, while it takes almost no cost and energy to get it on the Net. It is much easier to earn virtual stroking and feedbacks than to get them in social environment where people are much more demanding and not willing to pay compliments.

Besides, the reason of morning “net-shower” may lie in a desire to complete the unfinished business, which the user began before going to sleep.

Just as the morning information ritual, some users report that they check for updates at night on their way to the toilet, or when going to the kitchen. This behavior reveals that the person’s brain doesn’t stop working even at night, and also the simple observation that sleep is quite boring for such people.


If you noticed that you acted in this way, try to form a new morning habit. During one week, do not plunge headlong into checking for updates as soon as you wake up. Replace reading the news feed with other actions — exercises, meditation, or with a glass of water with lemon. Consider what changes you have in your feelings and your day.

Do not place the smartphone or tablet next to you before going to sleep. Take the devices to another room, or put them out of reach when lying in bed.

Screen-voyeurism — practice of observing personal life of people through spying on their screens in public transport, office or at home.

It had been a piece of cake before the invention of smartphones: innermost thoughts were gathered in a notebook or diary, which kept everything secret, bestial, double-bottomed. Or alternatively, it was talked over in the kitchen. Today we have that kitchen on the screen of our smartphone. Wherever you look — private life is everywhere.

When traveling in public transport, observer’s view unwittingly falls on the screens with the personal life inside out. “My sweet cat, I’m coming”, the owner of a smartphone is typing a message, someone next to her is sending a personal SMS, somebody on one side is “liking”, on the other — is mindlessly poking in Secret. The same picture takes place in the office: person unwillingly becomes an observer of personal life of virtually every screen; someone’s Facebook, Skype, and personal photos catch the eye.

Whether a casual glance on someone’s private life shown on the smartphone screen is a civil offence? And does this openness present a violation of onlookers’ freedom for looking? The future precedents may come up with the answers to these questions.

No smartphone guy What’s wrong with this guy?

“Digital Vocabulary” is an extremely time-sensitive project. A few years ago, warnings regarding new technologies could be considered far-fetched. However, today we understand that the principle “I’ll turn it off if I please” no longer works: technology has been long now deciding when it is time to switch us on and off — by operating cycles, TV-program schedules, alarm clocks in smartphones, mobile apps, games and wearable devices. An important thing is that operational guidelines go hand-in-hand with theory. Thus, it allows not only to adapt to the prevailing conditions but also to suggest how the situation will develop further. And then, apparently, the next initiative by “Digital Vocabulary” authors will be required — new technologies and social changes are not long in coming.

Anton Gumenskiy
Media Researcher, Lecturer Theory of Communication Faculty of International Journalism at MGIMO

It’s about time someone(s) put together a GPS for navigating the digital gadget landscape. And Alex and Dmitriy have succeeded in this wonderfully! More than a dictionary of terms that only a geek could love, this vocabulary introduces and explains key terms in both their technical and cultural significance. Moreover there are highlighted key sentences in each section for those who have only an “Internet minute” to cover the material.

Tom Mahon
Technology Publicist, Journalist and Activist
Author “Charged Bodies: People, Power, and Paradox in Silicon Valley”

The “Digital Vocabulary” is a unique project. Nowadays, a great many write about technology’s impact on mankind (I’ve read almost everything of that, therefore my judgement can be called authoritative), but only Alex and Dmitry could comprehend, make it loud and simple, show it from an unexpected point of view, bring in their own insights and create a fabulous in its depth analytical portal, which considers all the aspects of the homo digitalis life. It is remarkable that both voluntarily Internet-addicted and committed techno luddites and media ascetics would find a lot of exciting things. Highly recommended to all fans of pushing the boundaries of reality: “Digital Vocabulary” provides a detailed 3D-model of the digital world and tools to its contemplation.

Irina Gusinskaya
Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Head of Interactive Publishing at Alpina Publisher

I’m getting old, the twinkle in my stardust is fading like a birthday candle. I remember the time when a friend told me about a lecture he’d just attended, it was a time with no personal computers and no mobile phones – yes, such a time actually existed, I was born in that time. My friend told me that the lecturer had said “In the future, there will be two kinds of people, technocrats and technopeasants,” Well, here we are in the future (a future sadly bereft of hover scooters) and I guess that prophetic lecturer was right. I had chosen to be on the side of the technopeasants because I figured that the world of theatre, “to which I am shackled like a boozer to his bottle, a dogged gambler to his game…” would not be impinged upon by the technological revolution. Well, I was wrong and the reason I was wrong is because the technological revolution has gotten rid of the actor and replaced him with an uber-marionette of cosmic proportions – it has changed the mind of man – it may be that we are no longer able to “hold a mirror up to nature” as creative artists but that the quantum and intra worlds of meta-linguistics are actually dragging us by the ego into the whirlpool of narcissism, where we are being devoured by vicious metal sharks and turned into bloody chum – until that is the human voices of digital detox wake us, “and we drown.”

Martin Cooke
Artistic Director, English Actors International

Our most precious, irreplaceable resource is our time. For me personally, books are one of the wisest ways we can invest that time. A book is the direct transfer, mind to mind, of the thoughts of another human being. Today, we are assailed by a thousand distractions every hour, as various sources of information compete for our attention. Those of us who grew up in the pre-Internet era know the slow time experience of immersion in a powerful or moving book. And when we switch our attention to Facebook, or Reddit, or any of a million and one other potential distractions, we are losing our time to an insidious digital addiction.

The shallow accretions of Internet data doses are finely tuned to captivate our attention, titillating our minds with illusory promises of satisfaction which can never be fulfilled except by more of the same, in an endless cycle of meme, news flash and tawdry ‘human interest’ stories, optimized with click-bait headlines. What we gain in content, we lose in meaning.

We are also losing our privacy, our innocence and most importantly, we are losing the ability to think deeply about important subjects. As long as we embrace too-easy gratification, we will continue to remain in thrall to the digital domination of instant information. I am concerned that human beings are subjecting themselves to a new way to trigger neuro-chemical changes in our brains, that may ultimately lead to a decline in the quality of our human relationships.

I therefore advocate and support the message of entering slow time. Take a hike in nature. Disconnect from the constant digital flood. Interact with your friends. Share a meal together. Switch off from every external distraction, and embrace the flow of life beyond the digital fix. Your future may depend upon it.

Paul Gillingwater
Journalist & Filmmaker. Managing Editor at The Local Austria

The Digital Vocabulary Project is a nuanced perspective to how we, digital media practitioners and theorists look at the digital landscape. The Internet of Things and Big Data have massively revolutionized our lives in profound ways. These technological and structurally changes to our personal and professional lives, has brought about social, cultural and political implications. This nuanced perspective is what project presents to its readers. As a marketing communications professional I have seen numerous studies and analyses written about how the digital revolution is and will continue to create tremendous economic opportunities for brands and marketers. I have also heard perspectives on how consumer behavior is greatly influenced through these advancements in technology. But what Alex and Dmitriy bring to the table is a psychological and sociological perspective to these changes. The Digital Vocabulary Project zeros in on the central theme of digital anthropology — which is increasingly important in this day and age, as we progress into an even more technologically advanced world.

Florent D’Souza
Consultant. Aspiring entrepreneur. Strategist. Marketing communications professional. Polymath.

There is hardly anything more natural to a man than attempts to understand themselves. Every day we think over our behavior, analyze feelings and motives. Technologies are a part of our lives — the further, the greater their impact. It means that our condition, relationships with close ones, friends and colleagues also depend on new world structure. The “Digital Vocabulary” project, laid-back, by dint of observations and researches explains where we have come to, where we are going to, and why everything is the way it is. In other words, it gives meaningfulness to our actions.

Anastasia Chernikova
IT Journalist, Editor at Hopes & Fears
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