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?

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”