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Ian Mason | @thedimpause

Distracted from distraction by distraction

I’ve just read this article in by Oliver Burkeman The Guardian:

At best, weโ€™re on Earth for around 4,000 weeks โ€“ so why do we lose so much time to online distraction? ๐Ÿ”—

It is an edited extract from his book Four Thousand Weeks: Time and How to Use It, published on 26th August 2021.

I recognise and certainly experience a lot of the symptoms of being distracted that he is pointing out.

Social media is engineered to constantly adapt to our interests. No wonder the rest of reality seems unable to compete

We mustnโ€™t let Silicon Valley off the hook, but we should be honest: much of the time, we give in to distraction willingly

When we succumb to distraction, weโ€™re motivated by the desire to flee something painful about our experience of the present

What we think of as distractions arenโ€™t the cause of our being distracted. Theyโ€™re just the places we go to seek relief

The title of this post comes from Burnt Norton the first of T.S.Eliot’s Four Quartets:

Distracted from distraction by distraction
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
Tumid apathy with no concentration

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