The heart of tech

This article was published on August 29, 2011


    Are you suffering from displacement behavior?

    Are you suffering from displacement behavior?


    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    CEO and co-founder, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    You know what an Inbox is right?
    It is a todo list that the whole world can add items to.

    We all have a lot of things to do and even more reasons not to do them. Recognize the feeling? You have a list if things you know you should do but instead you decide to check facebook, read a newspaper or do something else that is unrelated to the task at hand.

    When people do this we call it ‘procrastinating’ but when cats do it we call it ‘displacement behavior‘:

    During a social conflict, for example, a harassed cat may be undecided about whether to run from its attacker or to stand and fight. Instead, the cat displays a third, unrelated behavior, such as grooming. This is a normal activity that cats find calming and reassuring.

    Instead of grooming ourselves we find other calming and reassuring activities to keep us busy. Gotta write that report? Nah, I really need to re-sort my RSS feeds. Need to write that blogpost? No, I should definitely back-up my hard disk first.

    Displacement behavior; you really don’t need it…

    Photo credit: Nailia Schwarz via Shutterstock