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Joy of Missing Out, The: Finding Balance in a Wired World

Author: Christina Crook
Edition/Format:   Print book : English

The art of finding balance in a wired world.


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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Christina Crook
ISBN: 9780865717671 0865717672
OCLC Number: 942417084
Contents: Information Overload How we got here: Mass communication 101. As technology has sped up mental diagnoses have exploded. In 1918 Vladimir Lenin first sees the pattern between electricity and mental health issues. He said "Electricity will take the place of God. Let the peasant pray to electricity. He is going to feel the power of the central authorities more than heaven." 2. Better Off? Has the internet made us better off? We are not a self-reflective people. We have become obsessed with all things new, no matter how petty. Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admits it is easy to collapse into mediocrity, reminding us that most people are more interested in the squirrel in their front yard than the perils of global warming. What can we learn from mining our past about relationship, human nature, efficiency and the imagination? Is more information making us dumber? People once had less to read, to play with (stick and box,) which seems to have led to a greater imagination. 3. Dusting Off the Dictionary Why definitions matter. How do you define computer technologies? As a tool? A looking glass? An escape route? How we view these technologies directly impacts how we value and interact with them. Clarifying our understanding and definition of the Internet will help us to know when to stop. INTRODUCTION to Part Two Presentness. "We asked people about technology, the universal answer was: "Yes, it's too much." But we all like it, we'd be lost without it. Also, I think that to be a part of the global dialogue you have to plugged in to some degree." - Filmmaker Andrew Blicq 4. Why fast the Internet? "Beware the barrenness of a busy life." - Socrates Most major religions have a season or seasons of fasting, times set apart to better see and hear the Spirit whom they follow. My desire to give up the internet for 31 days originated from a desire to discover the person and parent I could and would be off-line. I had tired of the restlessness, distractedness and discontentment I felt online. I was frustrated by the roundabout method of communication that was developing in my closest relationships. 4. Gaining the Time Implementing Constraints. My constraints were drastic. 31 complete days off-line and here's what I found: the smartphone check-ins I make multiple times a day are not actual time savers but time suckers. That if I, as a mama-of-two, want to engage with new ideas, read books, study, create - then I have to save up all of those two minute, one minute, ten minute windows and bank them for things I really want to do. Like write poetry. Phone my Grandma. Skype my sister. Read a book. 5. Quitting the Comparison Game Reclaiming delight in a self-obsessed culture. Before I began my off-line experiment a thought crossed my mind: If I get off the Internet I thinkI may stop worrying about what other people are doing and just do my thing. What would our world be like without the "conspicuous authenticity" (Mireille Solcoff, National Post) the Internet breeds? What would our hearts be like if, instead of comparing, we blessed one another in our successes and said sayonara to tracking each other's progress? 6. Coming Close Restoring our trust in one another. When was the last time you struck up a conversation on the subway platform or in queue at the bank? Most of us are too busy fondling our handhelds to engage with the person next to us. Chance encounters seem to be a thing of the past because online there is always someone initiating. Technology give us a sense of control, and where control reigns whimsy flees. The teenage girls that live next door tell me that even though they spend their lives text messaging, they still want to be asked out in person. INTRODUCTION to Part Three The Way Forward. It is very difficult to step out of the immediacy, the 'necessity' of media and say "maybe I don't need this" because we believe we have control over their effects because we made these technologies but the truth is we make our technologies and they remake us in their image and for their purposes." - Dr. Read Schudhart. 7. Reorienting a Life | Learning our lessons longhand. The new media has restructured our experience of the old media. It's under the conditions of multi-tasking, where you get to be two people, two places at the same time. That thrill that all media and all portable media allow us to do whatever we want whenever we want, that problem of when you have been given the the pleasure of multitasking, then even the divine pleasure of reading, now matter how great the content, becomes mono-tasking, a kind of punishment. 8. Making Space to Create It had taken me an hour to realize the problem. I'd been spinning in circles, trying to dig into a writing project when I closed the flap on my MacBook in a fit of frustration. First I flipped through my file of paper notes, then I picked up a book and began to read aloud. Suddenly, unsurprisingly, the fog cleared. I could see the forest for the trees. I was able to THINK. We need space - both physically and mentally - to create. 9. Little Eyes and Ears Leading by example. Little children are plopped in front of televisions from birth. Sesame Street recently released an 'augmented reality' product where kids can hold an iPad in front of a specialized toy where the screen will play out a predetermined scene. We pay a premium so kids don't have to imagine anymore. "The kids are playing four hours straight in first person shooter video games so they obviously have got a pretty clear ability to focus and stay alert on something for four hours. The question or the problem is if it's only that that will keep them in the room: a multi-tasking, multi-variety of novel audio and visual stimuli that they get to destroy then no wonder they can't stay awake in class." (To paraphrase Tom Wolfe) 10. Hereon In | Check in, Check out. The key is to use the Internet like any tool. Take it out for a specific purpose and then put it away. We don't use a screwdriver to butter toast or write a love letter. "Practice the discipline of planned neglect. Discipline yourself to pursue the better." - C.S. Lewis. Do use social media, don't live it. It can be a fantastic tool to give you direct access to a person you otherwise wouldn't/couldn't communicate with. FaceTime and photo-sharing with faraway family and friends are wonderful ways to bridge distances. You don't need to tweet it. Repeat after me: "I do not need to tweet this." CONCLUSION This will be joy. We tell our kids to go play outside but we also need to be reminded of the joys of happy accidents. "Only love and what love forms endure." (Book: The Family as a Spiritual Discipline) Meaning in limitation.
Responsibility: Crook, Christina.


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Crook quotes a wide range of philosophers and poets, educators and researchers, weaving together a text that is accessible. She invites readers to consider the effects of living a wired life; the Read more...

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