Chapter 2 Constant connectivity

In her book Inviting a Monkey to Tea: Befriending Your Mind and Discovering Lasting Contentment, Huffington Post blogger and psychotherapist Nancy Colier suggests that society is using technology in leisure time as a way to ‘numb out'. When we use technology for any other purpose than education, she says, we are simply ‘distracting ourselves through the virtual world' from the real issues that are happening in our lives. We don't have to look far for evidence of this. How often do you sit and watch television at the end of the day, surfing through mind-numbing shows, while you (and your partner beside you) play with your iPad, laptop or phone, totally zoning out as a way to wind down from the day?

Losing track in the virtual world

We become so engrossed in the virtual world that we lose track of time. How often have you given yourself permission to jump online for five or ten minutes, only to find that an hour has passed? We lose ourselves in the intrigue, the information and the funny cat videos. In a society where time has become so precious, it is ironic that we will surrender so much of it to being lost in a virtual space.

Before digital technology came into our lives, at the end of a long, physically demanding day at work we would fall into bed exhausted, waking as the sun came up to start a new day. We would go to bed early, sleep deeply and wake up refreshed. Hobbies and leisure time revolved around social connection and active or creative ...

Get Switch Off now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.