living less and giving less

The 12th chapter of the Powers book, ‘Hamlet’s Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age’, is the start of section 3: In Search of Depth. This new section is all about the long term cost of connectivity, and how we need to choose to live in a more thoughtful way.
Find a healthy balance. “In letting screens run my life, I discount the rest of my existence, effectively renouncing my own wholeness. I live a lesser life and give less back to the world…. We’re living less and giving less, and the world is worse for it”(pg. 210).
The chapter reviews key points from earlier in the book.
Just like Plato’s story about Socrates taking a quiet walk outside of Athens to escape the busyness, We can take a walk without our phones to break free and  make a digital escape.
Seneca focused on one person/idea and tuned everything else out, and We can have a real conversation with someone around us. Not while navigating 10 windows, and watching a video, while writing an email, a real eye-contact no-distractions conversation.
Gutenberg made it possible for us to inwardly reflect with books, but our new tech devices are trying to make reading an outward experience, with connected tablets and e-readers.
With Shakespeare (Hamlet’s handheld) we re-learned about the importance of paper and tangible toys.
Ben Franklin gave us  goals for ‘moral perfection’ through  behavioral rituals.
Thoreau told us to create an area of inner simplicity and peace away from the  intensity of connectedness.
“McLuhan said that, even in this busy electronic world, each of us can regulate the quality of our experience” (219).
This chapter was actually a beautiful summary of half the book.


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