It seems today our most valuable asset is our thumbs. We use our things to swipe, pinch, and touch phone screens all day. What if we could use our thumbs for social good?
We double tap images on Instagram. We scroll with our thumbs on our Facebook newsfeed. We point our phones and “Snap” with the press of our thumb. We swipe left or right on Tinder. We type on our screens furiously, answering emails by moving and tapping both our thumbs.
What is “thumb surplus”?
I get this concept of thumb surplus from Clay Shirky, who wrote a book called “cognitive surplus.” His idea:
We have more surplus of time for leisure. What if we harnessed all of our surplus (extra) cognition (brainpower) to do something meaningful with our lives and to help contribute to society?
My idea of thumb surplus:
We have so much time with our phones. What if we harnessed our “thumb power” to do more social good?
What can we do with our thumbs?
I currently don’t own a laptop. I do all my typing on IA writer on an iPad or Android phone with Swiftkey. I blog useful information, just by moving and tapping my thumbs against a touch screen. Somehow, I miraculously create “value” just by using my thumbs.
I see all these fucking stupid games, where the only “skill” required of the player is to tap their screen. It drives me nuts.
I’m not against games. A lot of games are good for cognition. But not the “free to play” games that just force you to click the screen for hours a day. To see how sad this is, Google “click farms” in China, India, and the developing world.
Empower yourself and others with your thumbs.
My idea: what if you could use your thumbs to contribute to society, and to help yourself?
You can blog with moving your thumbs. You can sell digital products, by selling via Palpal and Woocommerce on your wordpress.org blog.
You can make YouTube videos, just by recording on your phone, and talking and moving your hands.
You can make photos, by aiming your camera in degrees, and tapping your screen with your thumb.
You can send meaningful emails or text messages to your loved ones and family, with typing a sweet message with your thumbs.
Why waste your thumb power?
Your thumb is mightier the the sword.