This weekend as I was locked in my usual vortex of distraction, I stumbled upon a friend’s Facebook post of this wonderful presentation by Joe Kraus. Needing to tear myself away from the pressing matters of the internet to make lunch for my two daughters, I opted to place my laptop at a strategic location on the counter and watch/listen to Kraus’s intriguing 15-minute video while making sandwiches. How sadly ironic to listen to a techie’s critique of our “culture of distraction” while perpetuating it in this way.
While much of Kraus’s presentation consists of preaching to the choir and making a lot of the same observations that Nicholas Carr highlights in his book “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains,” what I appreciated about Kraus’s message is that he concluded it with what seem to be some fairly simple and reasonable practices for moderating our ever-distracted and technology-saturated lives. Kraus suggests we “take a weekly holiday” from our devices, meaning no screens for a day, and he also says to “ACTIVELY TRAIN your long-form attention and mindfulness” through a calming walk or meditation, or any type of “DAILY practice of slowing down.”
I think Kraus definitely has the right idea in acknowledging that we ARE losing something important in today’s culture of distraction, and I like the solutions he offers. But I want to hear more ideas. I want more solutions.
What else can we do to quiet our minds and strengthen our real, human relationships?