Monday, February 23, 2015

Conscious computing: how to take control of your life online

Computer keys spelling 'The Tao of tech'

 'We work on machines that seem designed to interrupt us and keep us on edge. Then we try to relax using them.' Photograph: Aaron Tilley for the Guardian Aaron Tilley/Guardian
"After all, distraction – as the Australian philosopher Damon Young points out inhis book of that name – isn't just a minor irritant. It's a serious philosophical problem: what you focus on, hour by hour, day after day, ends up comprising your whole life. "To be diverted isn't simply to have too many stimuli but to be confused about what to attend to and why," Young writes. "Distraction is the very opposite of emancipation: failing to see what is worthwhile in life, and lacking the wherewithal to seek it." To recover from techno-distraction, "what's required is not Luddite extremism but a more ambitious relationship to our tools – one that promotes our liberty instead of weakening it."
What we need are ways of strengthening the muscle that lets you maintain control of your own attention, so that you can more frequently win the psychological arm-wrestle against the services and sites that are itching to control it for you. You could begin by going to the website donothingfor2minutes.comand following the instructions, which are a) to do nothing for two minutes, except b) to listen to the relaxing sound of waves. Move your mouse, or press a key, and the word "fail" will appear in big red letters. If the very idea of visiting strikes you as stupid or annoying – a tedious waste of time when you could be doing something more stimulating instead – then here's a slightly different piece of advice: you really, really need to visit."

Keep calm and carry on: 10 websites to help you through your tech addiction

Mac Freedom
Calm Your Box
Calm Down

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