“At the end of the experiment, I wasn’t dying to get my phone back or to access Facebook. I just wanted to get back to being better informed. My devices and the Internet, as much as they are sometimes annoying and frustrating and overflowing with knuckleheads, help me to do that. If getting outside and taking walks, or sitting in silence, or walking dogs, or talking with loved ones on the phone got me to that same place, I’d be more than happy to change things up.” Mathew Malady
A recent article that explores David Levy’s new book Mindful Tech concludes with the quotation above. We see the article as misguided and lacking in understanding of what it means to be still with oneself noticing one’s patterns and habits (It is not about watching sport, reading endless magazines, or allowing an untrained mind to fantasise – humans do this, it is called distraction not mindfulness or stillness). It further misunderstands that ‘being better informed’ and ‘always learning something new’ are just labels for an addiction to seeking. We are not surprised Mathew learnt little: rationalising a seeking addiction as keeping informed and thinking that somehow distracting oneself with something other than a computer is qualitatively different from any other distraction. In reading the article you will get a preview of the kind of areas that Mindful Tech covers. Perhaps it will help you decide if the book is worth reading. We think it is and think this review is misguided. An interview with the author of the book might offer a good balance.
This Daily Stillness has been recycled from previously published ones:
• #tds221 The useless agony of going offline (Feb 6, 2016)