I wanted to share an excellent and insightful book with my readers titled Unplugged: how to live mindfully in a digital world. Given that my blog focuses on parenting and sharing resources with families, I wanted to review this book written by Orianna Fielding that helped me become more mindful about being connected with my electronic devices. It becomes so easy to get wrapped up in checking email, facebook, etc and it can be hard to break the cycle and think about this behavior from a different perspective.
I was in a small book store in Kent, NY when I came across this book. The title immediately caught my attention because of my own struggle to live more mindfully and resist being attached to my phone and other electronic devices. The author gives excellent advice about various aspects of using digital devices in all aspects of life.
Unplugged, how to live mindfully in a digital world is divided in various chapters including Live, Work. Play, Pause/Disconnect, Reconnect, Rewind, Reset. Throughout the book there are questionnaires and tips from the author to help build more insight in being unplugged and more mindful. The author goes into detail regarding each aspect of our life and what being over-connected does to us a parent, wife, friend, etc. There is also extensive research on what being over-connected does to our social emotional development. For example, Orianna Fielding discusses a study by the University of Michigan that observed 82 Facebook users over a 14 day period. They found a direct correlation between the time they spend on Facebook and the negative impact upon their self esteem.
What I find most useful about this book is that it shares information on how to be more connected as a parent. If we are attached to our phones, it is hard to focus on our children and enjoy the present moment. The author shares ways to reconnect with your child such as, “Making mealtimes a device free family time with a no device rule during meals to encourage real conversation, re-enforcing a ‘no meals in front of the computer’ rule”. Other tips include being a good model for our child by listening to them and not looking through email or texting at the same time. Orianna goes into great detail about how we are not accomplishing more by multi tasking and that we need to shift to just staying focused on one task and completing that task in the best way way we can.
One of my favorite quotes shared in the book is written by Simone Weil, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity”.
To learn more about the author Orianna Fielding, click here.