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“Digital Distraction”

A thoughtful article about making time for books on the Harvard Business Review. Interesting the piece is filed under “Stress” section. maybe are less stressed out if we read more during our down-time? We live in an age of explosive easy information. What everyone is doing from grocery shopping to traveling around the world is at the touch of a finger. You sweep the screen of the electronic devices and all the information is there. The delight, indeed, abounds; but it’s not always delightful. I can get distracted at work or being with family and friends. The biggest disruption, I’m afraid, would be to forfeit my precious reading time.

I make a point to only check my Facebook the first 15 minutes in the morning, then devote the time to reading. I love reading and books are my passion and livelihood. I prefer to delve into the pages and allow myself to be enlightened or amused, depending on what I read, fiction or non-fiction, instead of poring over the ceaseless feeds of status updates. We are choked by this digital information stress, this obsession that held us imprisoned.

Another “virtue” of books is the slow retention time. As long as I keep reading, at my pace, I’m being possessed by the book and engaging in a conversation with it. When being engaged, my focus is sustained. I really enjoy the slower form of information delivery that is reading. Recently I was in France, and I noticed, in general, when the French are engaging in a conversation, they don’t check their phone. Readers abound at sidewalk cafes, poring over their newspapers or books. They don’t seem to fuzz over making or checking status updates as much as we do. I’m not trying to make any generalization. It’s just an observation and, to me, this observation is both encouraging and inspiring.


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