Who is going to manage our attention? (DW#902)

When I was writing Parenting in the Age of Facebook back in 2016, I got mixed reactions from people. While some were encouraging and wanted to know more about how we could manage technology and social media from negatively impacting our families, there were many who thought the task was insurmountable.

For some, the personal and family dependence on technology was such that they could not even see another possibility. They had already resigned themselves to a life where they would have a more intimate relationship with their smartphone than with those around them.

And then there some who thought that if the news was truly so damaging, "somebody" would have done something about it. Surely if tech was impacting our children in the way that I had expressed in the book, government and corporate regulators would do something about it?

Nir Eval’s book Indistractable is an answer to such concerns.

He says that in the future, there will be two kinds of people in the world: those who let their attention and lives be controlled and coerced by others and those who proudly call themselves ‘indistractable.’

He also emphasizes that we simply do not have time to wait for regulators to do something, and if we hold our breath waiting for corporations to make their products less distracting, well, we are going to suffocate!

In other words, it is unreasonable to expect that government or corporations are going to rescue us from this situation.

It is time to take matters in our own hands. We need to learn about technology and its impact, and start acting in ways that have our personal wellbeing (rather than corporate profits) as the deciding factor in our decisions regarding technology.

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