- File Size: 1634 KB
- Print Length: 200 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1976788668
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: January 14, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0781B16LR
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,000 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Digital Detox: The Ultimate Guide To Beating Technology Addiction, Cultivating Mindfulness, and Enjoying More Creativity, Inspiration, And Balance In Your Life! Kindle Edition
|Length: 200 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I can't say I would recommend this book, however. This author may be qualified to teach about productivity and procrastination, but he is not qualified to write a book about addiction. His use of the term "addictive personality" which is an overly simplified idea and mostly debunked in the recovery community, is a good example of his lack of real expertise.
The author frequently draws parallels between tech addiction and drug or alcohol addiction, and rightly so. (Side note- he frequently misspells the drug heroin as "heroine" which I found a bit amusing.) And, after the first first chapter, I was quite in agreement that he was right. This is a serious addiction. But do you know what doesn't work for people addicted to alcohol or drugs? Reading a list of reasons drugs and alcohol is bad for us. And the author repeatedly insists that knowing these reasons is enough to keep tech addicts "sober." The fact that most of us KNOW looking at screens before bed does nothing to stop us from doing it. There has to be something more.
And this book, Im sorry to say, is not it. It might be helpful for someone who had NO IDEA that spending all their time on their phone might be bad for their relationships. If that is you, read this book and have your eyes opened, by all means.
I found this book difficult to read because of how incredibly repetitive it is. Many of the sections/lists "signs you may be addicted to technology, side effects of technology addiction, how technology negatively affects your life, 15 ways your life will improve, how you'll feel after your digital detox" are just the same information repeated over and over. And over. Sleep is the most overused example. Its repeated between chapters and even within chapters. Or 5 different ways of saying tech causes us to be distracted. "Increased restlessness, inability to focus, greater susceptibility to distractions, reduced productivity (reason given- because we're are constantly distracted), These things aren't exactly the same, but the same descriptions and reasoning are given for all of them.
Unfortunately, the many good points and gem of information in this book that were really skimmed over and drowned in the repetition of the same basic ideas over and over. This point: "Some experts claim the addict engages in her compulsion- for example overuse of her her phone- to escape her emotions. She she is deprived of that activity, her emotions flood back in and overwhelm her." Yes, talk more about that! Cut out 9 of the 10 sections about sleep and explore the emotional component more! Also the information about memory and creativity tacked on in the final chapter would have been wonderful to be fleshed out further. It felt like an afterthought.
And contradictions! Chapter 9 - read a book, but definitely don't read any non-fiction books. Chapter 10- learn a new skill. Read a book about astronomy or the history of Rome. You JUST said not to read non-fiction in the previous chapter, and of course I can't go on the internet.
I did find the section on "After your digital detox: 10 things to do to avoid a relapse" to be helpful, and I will take some of the suggestions. That gave this book 2 stars instead of 1.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
So how do we know we have an addiction? The symptoms are delineated in Chapter 4 (Damon does not number his chapters which is a sore point for an otherwise excellent book but I can understand that it may be unnecessary for a short guide like this). In brief, we know we are addicted when we exhibit 10 signs that include—and I am guilty of these—taking your devices into the bathroom and regularly forgoing sleep.
The disastrous effects of this addiction is described in the next chapter which range from poor concentration to a worsening of eyesight and procrastination. Reading this chapter should be enough to dissuade anyone from further indulgence in their digital devices and seek assistance to break this unhealthy habit. Next, Damon gives us 10 factors ranging from gender to ease of access which conspire to make this difficult.
Chapter 7 presents a series of reasons why we are addicted to technology. The contents of this chapter are drawn heavily from Chapter 3 but expressed differently. Thus, the points may appear repetitive but I believe this is a technique Damon used throughout the book to drum into the reader his messages. From modern-day information overload to societal expectations, it would appear that there is no way we can stop our compulsion. One thing I learnt here is “intermittent reinforcement” which is an interesting way to sum up the technique used by the big technology companies to keep us engaged in our devices which in turn drives their revenues. What is even more frightening is that no one or organization (except for voices like Damon’s) is doing anything to reverse this trend.
By the time we reach chapter 8, a part of our minds is beginning to “get the message.” But knowing how flimsy this conviction is, Damon gives us 9 negative effects of digital addiction which reads like a long drawn-out rehash of chapter 5. We read about how, as a result of our digital obsession, our sleep is deprived, et cetera up to our impaired communication skills.
Before Damon finally lets us in on his method of digital detox, he explains what the life improvements we will have if we underwent this detox. These benefits are generally the inverse of the disadvantages of digital addiction which we would have read at least a couple of times by now with some exceptions such as better impulse control.
After warning that we are likely to experience unpleasant albeit temporary side effects of the detox, he advised to make 9 preparations for the actual detox. Then he laid out his 10-step method in chapters 13–14. Here, in his last step on learning a new skill, he seems to contradict himself when he recommends coding, creating spreadsheet graphs and charts and analyzing stocks among others. These 3 activities would usually require the use of a digital device to learn properly and doing so will, in theory, defeat the whole exercise of digital detox.
Unfortunately, the next part, “The Effects of a Digital Detox on Your Brain” reads like a reiteration of chapters 10 and 12. In fact Damon appears to be aware of this, judging by the numerous times he refers back to previous chapters.
The prized jewel of this book is a section entitled “After Your Digital Detox” which contains valuable advice of 10 activities which can be applied even—in my opinion—without going through the detox, to simplify your digital world. If not for this part, I might have given the book 4 stars instead of 5 stars. The very practical advice here, which I have begun to take into heart, is worth every penny of the book. I am looking forward to Damon’s next guide and would only suggest that he reduces the number of times which his points are repeated.
This book is extremely well structured (I finished it in 3 hours over 2 weekends even though I'm a slow reader), and divided into neat sections such as sings of technology addiction, disadvantages of these addictions, how life can change for the better and last but not least, a very actionable chapter on how to do a digital detox which is backed by proven tactics from psychology and behavioural science. I used this chapter to do my own 1 day detox which enabled me to finally finish a book I had been wanting to read for a long time.
Damon quotes research throughout the book which lends immense creditability to everything.
This book undoubtedly deserves 5 starts and will help anyone who is addicted to technology and wants to get rid of this obsession so that you can enjoy more things in life such as a better social life, better social skills, building other good habits such as reading books etc...