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The Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul

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The Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul Cover

ISBN13: 9780316208260
ISBN10: 0316208264
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The question of our time: can we reclaim our lives in an age that feels busier and more distracting by the day?

We've all found ourselves checking email at the dinner table, holding our breath while waiting for Outlook to load, or sitting hunched in front of a screen for an hour longer than we intended.

Mobile devices and the web have invaded our lives, and this is a big idea book that addresses one of the biggest questions of our age: can we stay connected without diminishing our intelligence, attention spans, and ability to really live? Can we have it all?

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, a renowned Stanford technology guru, says yes. The Distraction Addiction is packed with fascinating studies, compelling research, and crucial takeaways. Whether it's breathing while Facebook refreshes, or finding creative ways to take a few hours away from the digital crush, this book is about the ways to tune in without tuning out.

Review:

"In this practical guide to better, more 'contemplative computing,' Pang, a historian of technology, teaches readers a valuable set of skills to better enable them to deal with an increasing reliance on ever-more intrusive and distracting forms of mobile technology. Along the way, the author provides an elegant tour through current neuroscience and an examination of the nature of attention to find better ways to handle our contemporary digital mediascape. In seven extended chapters, Pang assesses attention-focusing tools (e.g., aesthetically minimal word-processing software like WriteRoom and Internet blockers like Freedom), as well as strategies like meditation and scheduled 'Sabbaths' away from stimulation like e-mail, push notifications, and other calls for attention. Pang's methods will be familiar to readers of other time-management manifestos, but he successfully renders them concrete, practical, and contemporary. His history of technology is also fascinating, drawing from sources far removed from the digital sphere. Pang's tome is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to take control of his or her digital life, and it's a great primer on the interplay between mind and tech. Agent: Zoé Pagnamenta, Pagnamenta Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Pang reminds us that our brains are still capable of feats far beyond the reach of computers." Mother Jones

Review:

"A wise, urbane, funny, and delightfully deep book. This book is about much more than distraction and addiction in the smartphone age. It's about living life wholly and fully by paying deep, thoughtful attention to our tools and our bodies, and to the people we love. This book speaks to modern times, but its message is timeless." Michael Chorost, author of World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet

Review:

"The era of the smartphone and the iPad seems to present us with a deeply unappealing choice: either we can resign ourselves to a life of tech-induced anxiety and distraction, or we can renounce the many benefits of the web-connected world. In this important and hopeful book, Alex Pang explains that there's a third possibility. Using the approach he calls 'contemplative computing,' we can harness technology to foster, not disrupt, attention and calm — and thereby use our gadgets in the service of a meaningful life, rather than letting them use us." Oliver Burkeman, Guardian columnist and author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking

About the Author

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang has spent the past twenty years studying people, technology, and the worlds they make. A professional futurist with a PhD in the history of science, Pang is a former Microsoft Research fellow, a visiting scholar at Stanford and Oxford universities, and a senior consultant at Strategic Business Insights, a Silicon Valley-based think tank. Pang's writings have appeared in Scientific American, American Scientist, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review, as well as in many academic publications.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

MAA, January 29, 2014 (view all comments by MAA)
Other comments are good - so I'll be brief & add the following:

One of the better books popularizing various 'scientific' research - I've moved on from the Malcolm Gladwell genre of journalistic popularization which often gets some of the research wrong, and now look for those with academic/scientific credentials - they tend to get the research better, with all the caveats that should come with so-called sociological/psychological study - simply very difficult to overcome practical & ethical challenges in social science.

Also appreciate the focus on 'zen' approaches to dealing with the avalanche of multi-media intrusions on our personal & shared spaces. Yes, breathe ... & take meditative breaks thruout the day & week ... Good (enough) science to support that too, as well as anecdotal stories.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
code7r, July 27, 2013 (view all comments by code7r)
“The Distraction Addition” by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is a book for our times. Mr. Pang recognizes how we are all becoming slaves to technology, with checking our email every few seconds, to “switch-tasking” which most people think is multi-tasking,” to forgetting how to just be with ourselves and with others.

Throughout the book, Mr. Pang brings things to the reader’s attention that seem obvious but really isn’t until he points it out. One of these is watching how you breathe before, during and after checking your email. I did and was surprised that I held my breath a little when I was pulling my email up! Mr. Pang refers to this as email-apnea and compares it to sleep apnea and it cannot be good for you.

I really like that Mr. Pang has antidotes about himself and his family sprinkled throughout the book to illustrate what the problem is and how he has tried dealing with it. He discusses studies that have been done to help support his various arguments. He has conversations with various people throughout the world (including monks!).

This book isn’t really ground-breaking, but it is full of commonsense about how to handle taking care of ourselves and not letting technology take over our lives so much that we do not take care of our mental, physical and psychological health. I say it is commonsense, but oftentimes commonsense is elusive until someone points it out. Mr. Pang offers ideas on how to reduce our stresses that are brought on by being plugged-in all the time.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316208260
Subtitle:
Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul
Author:
Soojung-Kim Pang, Alex
Publisher:
Little Brown and Company
Subject:
Sociology-Media
Publication Date:
20130831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English

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Related Subjects

Computers and Internet » Computers Reference » History and Society
Computers and Internet » Computers Reference » Social Aspects » Human and Computer Interaction
History and Social Science » Sociology » Media
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Reference » Science Reference » Technology
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » General
Science and Mathematics » Popular Science » Computer Science

The Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.50 In Stock
Product details pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316208260 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this practical guide to better, more 'contemplative computing,' Pang, a historian of technology, teaches readers a valuable set of skills to better enable them to deal with an increasing reliance on ever-more intrusive and distracting forms of mobile technology. Along the way, the author provides an elegant tour through current neuroscience and an examination of the nature of attention to find better ways to handle our contemporary digital mediascape. In seven extended chapters, Pang assesses attention-focusing tools (e.g., aesthetically minimal word-processing software like WriteRoom and Internet blockers like Freedom), as well as strategies like meditation and scheduled 'Sabbaths' away from stimulation like e-mail, push notifications, and other calls for attention. Pang's methods will be familiar to readers of other time-management manifestos, but he successfully renders them concrete, practical, and contemporary. His history of technology is also fascinating, drawing from sources far removed from the digital sphere. Pang's tome is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to take control of his or her digital life, and it's a great primer on the interplay between mind and tech. Agent: Zoé Pagnamenta, Pagnamenta Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Pang reminds us that our brains are still capable of feats far beyond the reach of computers."
"Review" by , "A wise, urbane, funny, and delightfully deep book. This book is about much more than distraction and addiction in the smartphone age. It's about living life wholly and fully by paying deep, thoughtful attention to our tools and our bodies, and to the people we love. This book speaks to modern times, but its message is timeless." Michael Chorost, author of World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet
"Review" by , "The era of the smartphone and the iPad seems to present us with a deeply unappealing choice: either we can resign ourselves to a life of tech-induced anxiety and distraction, or we can renounce the many benefits of the web-connected world. In this important and hopeful book, Alex Pang explains that there's a third possibility. Using the approach he calls 'contemplative computing,' we can harness technology to foster, not disrupt, attention and calm — and thereby use our gadgets in the service of a meaningful life, rather than letting them use us." Oliver Burkeman, Guardian columnist and author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking
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