Letting Your Mind Go Offline, by T. Brady

We ALL need some time, to DISCONNECT from the web, especially at this day and age…

We all need to take a break from our screens, and not just to rest our eyes.  The downtime lets us get a little creative thinking done.

Executives’ toys that live on a desk to be played with, some say, are a productive distraction: Magic 8 Balls with cryptic messages; Zen gardens with the little rakes; Newton’s Cradle, the dangling metal balls that knock against one another, the ends flying to demonstrate Newton’s law of the conservation of momentum.

Such objects provoke dialogue and relieve stress, says Adrienne Appel of the Toy Industry Association, and are useful in the digital age.

“With today’s extended work hours, multiple screens and multiple devices, it’s even more important for people to step back and take that moment to de-stress,” she told The Times.

Scott G. Eberle, vice president for play studies at the Strong museum in Rochester, New York, said desktop toys can induce a meditative state.  Mr. Eberle has written on subjects like day-dreaming, and he sees creative value in objects like Newton’s Cradle.  Watching them can create a sense of detachment.

“Ideally, you need to move yourself into a state where your mind is offline,” he said, adding that lava lamps and fish tanks work as well.

Since much of our public space is being filled by the advertisers, Matthew B. Crawford reported in The Times, it’s harder and harder to get offline.

“In the process, we’ve sacrificed silence—the condition of not being addressed,” Mr. Crawford wrote.  “And just as clean air makes it possible to breathe, silence makes it possible to think.”

He noticed that the trays used to place items for X-ray screening at airports are now covered with advertisements, and he was jarred by the sight of all the lipstick colors offered by L’Oreal when he put a memory stick in the tray.

This noise blocks out the silent moments we used to savor when traveling, which contribute to the creativity and innovation, Mr. Crawford argued.  Silence is now marketed as a luxury good.

“In the business-class lounge at Charles de Gaulle Airport, I heard only the occasional tinkling of a spoon against china,” he wrote.  “I saw no advertisements on the walls.  This silence, more than any other feature, is what makes it feel genuinely luxurious.”

His neck muscles relaxed, and he felt revived, after just twenty minutes.

These days we don’t have much chance to relax, Teddy Wayne wrote in The Times, because of ICYMI (In case you missed it.)

Twitter and online alerts appear every few seconds to bring links to the attention of those who may have missed them.  The news industry is publishing stories twenty-four hours a day, entire seasons of TV shows are released at once and most movies are available at any time.

It’s impossible to keep up.  But it’s also possible to access any of these things at any time “so there is no excuse for missing one—and, therefore, a more urgent compulsion to catch up,” Mr. Wayne wrote, “in case you missed it.”

Manoush Zomorodi, the host of a New York radio show called New Tech City, which examines how technology affect our lives, complains she hasn’t been bored in seven years.

She traces it to her first iPhone in 2007, Ms. Zomorodi, 41, started a project called “Bored and Brilliant,” which asked participants to avoid their devices and embrace idleness, hoping the wandering of mind is a more creative one.

Of course there is an app for it.  “We’re trying to embrace the ridiculousness of it”, she told The Times.

So, looks like we’re ALL kidnapped by these modern day inventions, huh?  Because we feel this need to stay connected (it’s still the individual’s problem if you ask me!), and so, we’re, tuned into whatever everybody else is doing, and thus, we find ourselves in the midst of this information overload, and, we wanted to unplug, but, how can we, we’d become reliant on these systems, these modern day technologies, and, it’s still due to the lack of control that people have over themselves, if you ask me, but hey, WHO asked Y-O-U again???  EXACTLY!

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Filed under Addiction to High-Tech Products& the WWW, Awareness, Connections, Cost of Living, Dependency, Emptiness of Modern Man's Souls, Life, Messed Up Values, Socialization, Vicious Cycle

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