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Digital Distraction: Maintaining your creative edge in the midst of distraction

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In a time when we are constantly connected yet isolated, searching for meaning yet distracted from our task, it becomes increasingly important to consciously cultivate an awareness of how our use of technology is affecting us.

Expectations of speed, availability, and increased output are impacting our ability to truly innovate. As our expectations require us to act increasingly machine-like (analytical, logical, information-centered), our abilities to empathize, play, understand nuance, create beauty, and synthesize the big picture are at risk of being lost.

We’ll explore ways of remaining conscious to this effect, and liberating ourselves from the poor inner habits our devices encourage.

Published in: Technology
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Digital Distraction: Maintaining your creative edge in the midst of distraction

  1. 1. Digital Distraction Optimizing your human-ness @benklocek
  2. 2. Maintaining BalanceThis is a story about maintaining balance betweenbeing online and offline, and experiments I’ve beendoing to explore it.
  3. 3. Human-nessEmpathy, play, nuance, beauty, big picture“Creative genius is not the accumulation of knowledge; it is the abilityto see patterns in the universe, to detect hidden links between what isand what could be.”The Nature Principle, Richard Louv
  4. 4. Machine-likeAnalytical, logical, information-centered, efficient“Computer systems are doing much of the mundane work you used todo, thereby (in theory at least) freeing you up–indeed, requiring you–to do the creative work these systems cant do.”How to Get Ideas, Jack Foster
  5. 5. *|I hit the wall...from information fatigue. Tired, poor ideas, scattered thoughts.
  6. 6. Go on a Media Diet (Bit Literacy by Mark Hurst) Relief!
  7. 7. Then I got an iPhone. *....*...*..*.***It started to fill up every spare moment in my day.
  8. 8. ******** My wife said,“You’re on it all the time”. Is that a problem?
  9. 9. We are all cyborgs, now. ted.com/talks/amber_case_we_are_all_cyborgs_now.htmlLet’s explore what happens when we are deeplyimmersed in the online world.
  10. 10. Important PointsExtension of physical self: second (virtual) self,external brain, overcome time & space (mentally)Creation of self: time for self reflection, co-creatingeach other via connections“The most successful technology gets out of the way and helps us liveour lives.”Amber Case
  11. 11. ConcernsI’m concerned that the cost of these conditions is higher than we realize.
  12. 12. Cost of distractionRelationships✦ Skill of conversation.✦ “What’s on my phone is more important than you.”
  13. 13. Cost of distractionChildren✦ Our example (It’s ok to ignore each other)✦ Intimacy (never alone together)
  14. 14. Cost of distractionEducation✦ Information elevated above knowing. (Quantitative over qualitative)✦ Distraction (Avg. highschooler sends/receives 4000 texts a month)
  15. 15. Cost of distractionBusiness✦ 57% of office interruptions are digital ($10k/employee/year)
  16. 16. Cost of distractionMental Health✦ Mental fatigue✦ Using executive functions✦ Downtime is to the brain, what sleep is to the body
  17. 17. Cost of distractionThinking✦ Training my mind for quick- thinking, distractibility over long- form, thought-consolidating thinking✦ We’re training our minds for distraction, not focus
  18. 18. *|* My experience: Split attention, two selves, time fragmentation.Lack of mental self-sufficiency and power of observation. “I’ll just google it”. Lack of depth in life and thinking.
  19. 19. So, what to do?“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The worldhenceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the rightinformation at the right time, think critically about it, and make importantchoices wisely.”E.O. Wilson
  20. 20. Experiments • “Dumb” phone (“Distraction” folder) • Tech sabbath/vacation • Bedroom sanctuary (no phone in the bed) • Time for rumination (preferably overnight) • Take a hike"Off the Internet, everything is connecting you with the world. Everything."The Nature Principle, Richard Louv
  21. 21. Wisdom • A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink • More books, fewer blogs/articles • Think first • Garden • Encourage the artist • Inner quiet (intuition, dreams) • More resources: bracia.com/human-ness"What we think, we become."Buddha
  22. 22. "If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow,we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must alsoleave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it lookedwhen we got through with it. "Lyndon B. Johnson
  23. 23. Thank you.bracia.com/human-ness @benklocek

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