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Digital Distraction
  Optimizing your human-ness

           @benklocek
Maintaining Balance
This is a story about maintaining balance between
being online and offline, and experiments I’ve been
doing to explore it.
Human-ness
Empathy, play, nuance, beauty, big picture




“Creative genius is not the accumulation of knowledge; it is the ability
to see patterns in the universe, to detect hidden links between what is
and what could be.”
The Nature Principle, Richard Louv
Machine-like
Analytical, logical, information-centered, efficient




“Computer systems are doing much of the mundane work you used to
do, thereby (in theory at least) freeing you up–indeed, requiring you–
to do the creative work these systems can't do.”
How to Get Ideas, Jack Foster
*|
I hit the wall...from information fatigue.

    Tired, poor ideas, scattered thoughts.
Go on a Media Diet
  (Bit Literacy by Mark Hurst)

            Relief!
Then I got an iPhone.


             *....*...*..*.***
It started to fill up every spare moment in my day.
********
      My wife said,
“You’re on it all the time”.

    Is that a problem?
We are all cyborgs, now.
     ted.com/talks/amber_case_we_are_all_cyborgs_now.html


Let’s explore what happens when we are deeply
immersed in the online world.
Important Points
Extension of physical self: second (virtual) self,
external brain, overcome time & space (mentally)

Creation of self: time for self reflection, co-creating
each other via connections


“The most successful technology gets out of the way and helps us live
our lives.”
Amber Case
Concerns
I’m concerned that the cost of these conditions is
            higher than we realize.
Cost of distraction
Relationships
✦ Skill of conversation.

✦ “What’s on my phone is more

  important than you.”
Cost of distraction
Children
✦ Our example (It’s ok to ignore each

  other)
✦ Intimacy (never alone together)
Cost of distraction
Education
✦ Information elevated above knowing.

  (Quantitative over qualitative)
✦ Distraction (Avg. highschooler

  sends/receives 4000 texts a month)
Cost of distraction
Business
✦ 57% of office interruptions are digital

  ($10k/employee/year)
Cost of distraction
Mental Health
✦ Mental fatigue

✦ Using executive functions

✦ Downtime is to the brain, what sleep

  is to the body
Cost of distraction
Thinking
✦ Training my mind for quick-

  thinking, distractibility over long-
  form, thought-consolidating
  thinking
✦ We’re training our minds for

  distraction, not focus
*|*
                   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.
So, what to do?




“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world
henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right
information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important
choices wisely.”
E.O. Wilson
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
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
"If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow,
we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also
leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked
when we got through with it. "
Lyndon B. Johnson
Thank you.

bracia.com/human-ness

      @benklocek

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

  • 1. Digital Distraction Optimizing your human-ness @benklocek
  • 2. Maintaining Balance This is a story about maintaining balance between being online and offline, and experiments I’ve been doing to explore it.
  • 3. Human-ness Empathy, play, nuance, beauty, big picture “Creative genius is not the accumulation of knowledge; it is the ability to see patterns in the universe, to detect hidden links between what is and what could be.” The Nature Principle, Richard Louv
  • 4. Machine-like Analytical, logical, information-centered, efficient “Computer systems are doing much of the mundane work you used to do, thereby (in theory at least) freeing you up–indeed, requiring you– to do the creative work these systems can't do.” How to Get Ideas, Jack Foster
  • 5. *| I hit the wall...from information fatigue. Tired, poor ideas, scattered thoughts.
  • 6. Go on a Media Diet (Bit Literacy by Mark Hurst) Relief!
  • 7. Then I got an iPhone. *....*...*..*.*** It started to fill up every spare moment in my day.
  • 8. ******** My wife said, “You’re on it all the time”. Is that a problem?
  • 9. We are all cyborgs, now. ted.com/talks/amber_case_we_are_all_cyborgs_now.html Let’s explore what happens when we are deeply immersed in the online world.
  • 10. Important Points Extension of physical self: second (virtual) self, external brain, overcome time & space (mentally) Creation of self: time for self reflection, co-creating each other via connections “The most successful technology gets out of the way and helps us live our lives.” Amber Case
  • 11. Concerns I’m concerned that the cost of these conditions is higher than we realize.
  • 12. Cost of distraction Relationships ✦ Skill of conversation. ✦ “What’s on my phone is more important than you.”
  • 13. Cost of distraction Children ✦ Our example (It’s ok to ignore each other) ✦ Intimacy (never alone together)
  • 14. Cost of distraction Education ✦ Information elevated above knowing. (Quantitative over qualitative) ✦ Distraction (Avg. highschooler sends/receives 4000 texts a month)
  • 15. Cost of distraction Business ✦ 57% of office interruptions are digital ($10k/employee/year)
  • 16. Cost of distraction Mental Health ✦ Mental fatigue ✦ Using executive functions ✦ Downtime is to the brain, what sleep is to the body
  • 17. Cost of distraction Thinking ✦ Training my mind for quick- thinking, distractibility over long- form, thought-consolidating thinking ✦ We’re training our minds for distraction, not focus
  • 18.
  • 19. *|* 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.
  • 20. So, what to do? “We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.” E.O. Wilson
  • 21. 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
  • 22. 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
  • 23. "If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it. " Lyndon B. Johnson