Foreword by Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and The Bill McKibben Reader
Now in Paperback!
“A richly detailed and passionately argued... account of the travails facing an ADD society and how to reinvigorate a ‘renaissance of attention.’” —Publishers Weekly
“This is an important book…a harrowing documentation of our modern world's descent into fragmentation, self alienation, and emptiness—brought on, to a large extent, by communication technologies that distract us, dislocate us, and destroy our inner lives.”
—Alan Lightman, MIT Professor and author of
the bestselling Einstein's Dreams and National Book Award finalist The Diagnosis
“Distracted does concentrate the mind on a real problem of modern life.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“This fascinating book on America's collective ADD is a wake-up call to all of us to take back our lives, turn off the technology, and focus on paying attention to what makes us human and fulfilled.”
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School Professor
and author of America the Principled and Confidence
“Jackson is on to something. Just how detrimental are the effects of our lifestyle on our well-being…Distracted gives us much to fret about.” —New York Post
Do you text during family dinners or read e-mails during meetings? Does your spouse learn about your day from Facebook? Do you get news about the world by scanning online headlines while also doing something else?
Welcome to the land of distraction. Despite our wondrous technologies and scientific advances, we are nurturing a culture of diffusion, fragmentation, and detachment. Our attention is scattered among the beeps and pings of a push-button world. We are less and less able to pause, reflect, and deeply connect.
In Distracted, journalist Maggie Jackson ponders our increasingly cyber-centric world and fears we’re entering a dark age of interruption that will render us unable to think critically, work creatively or cultivate meaningful relationships. Jackson warns of what can happen when we lose our ability to sustain focus and erode our capacity for deep attention—the building block of intimacy, wisdom, and cultural progress. The implications for a healthy society are stark. Societal ADD will adversely affect parenting, marriages, personal safety, education and even democracy. And yet we can recover our powers of focus through a renaissance of attention. Neuroscience is just now decoding the workings of attention, with its three pillars of focus, awareness, and judgment, and revealing how these skills can be shaped and taught.
In her sweeping quest to unravel the nature of attention and detail its losses, Jackson offers us a compelling wake-up call, an adventure story, and reasons for hope. Put down your smart phone and prepare for an eye-opening journey. We can—and must—learn to focus attention in this Twitter culture.
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Shipping Weight: 1lbs
Maggie Jackson (New York, NY) is an award-winning author and journalist who writes the popular “Balancing Acts” column in the Boston Globe. Her work also has appeared in the New York Times and on National Public Radio, among other national publications. Her acclaimed first book, What’s Happening to Home? Balancing Work, Life and Refuge in the Information Age, examined the loss of home as a refuge.