Using Technology Consciously in Your Life and Work: 101 Ways to Survive and Thrive in a Hyperconnected World
How many times do you check something on the internet and find that you are merely drifting aimlessly from one link to another? If you cannot not answer the phone when it rings; if you spend hours a week on social media if you read your texts instead of kissing your loved one goodnight; if you don’t give your kids proper attention and instead have to prioritize new responses to your tweet... this book is for you.
The digital world is spreading like an inferno—a swirling hot storm of change, possibility, addiction, passion, manipulation, creativity, and abuse. It demands our attention and encourages us to be always on for its constant updates and feedback. It is exciting but can also overwhelm us. Moreover, it is developing more quickly than our ability to deal with it in a healthy way.
To adherents of digital living and working, any criticism is uncool, a sign of being out of touch—a luddite.
Refreshingly, Digital Inferno is neither simple indictment nor unqualified endorsement. Rather, it’s about holding your own in the digital realm—adapting in a healthy way to the new reality. It offers a conscious path that allows us to derive the benefits we need while also managing the dangers. Packed with a wealth of practical advice, Digital Inferno describes numerous methods that enable us to step back from constant digital activity and virtual living, allowing more space and time to pay attention to the real world. Included are exercises to overcome fatigue arising from digital technology and to develop skills that enable us to remain awake and aware. Crucially, we can master the digital realm and abstain from contact, and when necessary, also freely immerse ourselves when we choose to.
We don’t need to shun new technology, but we do need to understand its challenges, problems, and limitations. This book provides tools we can all use to meet the future consciously.
“This book is visionary and practical and both are needed at this time as the digital inferno spreads, setting fire to more and more elements of daily life.”
—Tom Bourner, Emeritus Professor of Personal and Professional Development, University of Brighton, coauthor of Workshops that Work
“An exciting book, full of hope for the future. By applying the concept of mindfulness to digital interactions, Paul Levy shows how we can get the most out of technology without losing touch with our essential humanity. Great stuff—thoughtful, insightful and very timely.”
—Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood
“An insightful guide for those seeking to consciously navigate the noise and confusion of the digital age.”
—Daniel T. Jones, author of The Machine that Changed the World, founder of Lean Enterprise Academy
“A fascinating and thought-provoking survey of our digital times.”
—Cliff McNish, author of The Doomspell Trilogy
“Our generation is gradually noticing the subtle effects of digital media in our lives. There are no clear answers as the effects are generative and emergent but it is useful to be mindful of the path we are creating. Paul Levy’s book is an eye opener. It is written with precision and full of insights on this ongoing interplay between people and technology. It is a great book for anyone keen to regain control of their relationship with gadgets and digital media in general.”
—Professor John Baptista, Associate Professor of Information Systems, University of Warwick
“A fascinating, moving and practical dance of content exploring what awfully is and what awe fully might be as human civilization embraces digital virtuality. Brilliantly conceived and written.”
— Angus Jenkinson, author of From Stress to Serenity, Chief Organizing Officer of the Civil Society Forum
C O N T E N T S:
1. The Problem and the Challenge
2. “Placement” — the Key to Freedom in the Digital Inferno
3. Staying Awake, Keeping Conscious at the Computer Table
4. Gaining Mastery over the Mobile Phone
5. Speaking on the Phone
6. Digital Dancing in Short Sentences and Sound-bites
7. Following Through in the Digital Inferno: The Case of Facebook Noncommitment
8. Losing the Thread
9. Looking at Pixelated Images: A Deal with a Devil?
10. Talking to Yourself
11. The Attack on Memory — Dancing Back into Sacred Remembering
12. Digital Gesturing and the Smiley
13. Staying Safe and Secure in the Digital Inferno
14. Reclaiming the Whole Narrative
15. Parenting the Digital Inferno
16. Welcome to the Internet of Things — the Future
17. Going Back Consciously into the Digital Realm — Enjoying the Dance