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PIR April 2012 Editorial: Wi-Fi Cold Turkey Time

April 2012 By Jerry Grossman
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Is it just me, or is the world in information overload?

Everywhere we turn, there is information yearning to be accessed. The recent advertising campaign for AT&T hits this perfectly on the head: “Oh, that is so four minutes ago.” A recent New York Times article by Julie Bosman and Matt Richtel reported that people who read books on their iPads and Kindles are so easily distracted by the imminent e-mail or news feed residing just a click away that they are less and less involved in the enjoyment of their reading material.

“E-mail lurks tantalizing within reach. Looking up a tricky word or unknown fact in the book is easily accomplished through a quick Google search. And if a book starts to drag, giving up on it to stream a movie over Netflix or scroll through your Twitter feed is only a few taps away.”

What does this all mean? I think we are losing something known as “enjoyment.” Webster says it’s “the process of taking pleasure in something.” When was the last time you sat in a movie, or read a book, or had a dinner conversation without your phone “taping you on the shoulder,” yearning for attention? How often do you feel the need to be the “first to know” something?

The New York Times article hit home for me. My attention span is directly correlated to the strength of my Wi-Fi signal. And this not only affects my enjoyment, but I find myself sacrificing depth of knowledge for breadth of tidbits. 

My new solution? Wi-Fi Cold Turkey Time. Every night I shut down for two hours. No phones. No computer. No iPad. Just me and my thoughts. Try it. You’d be amazed how productive you can be by being disconnected.

 

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