The latest technology trend seems to be hating technology, whether it means breaking our phones, taking breaks from online news (if that's what you call a "break") or disavowing Facebook. Part of this technological reaction is deserved and a long time ago. In just a decade, some of us have clung to our products and services in an unhealthy way, while technology companies have allowed them to benefit from our so-called addictions. But part of this desire to rage against the blue light of our screens seems like a futile attempt to keep technology out of our lives in places where it is now inevitable.
One of the tactics that I have used in recent months to force myself to take a break from the screens is to buy more real books (something from Kara Swisher de Recode and what I talked about in this series of two-part podcasts on technology addiction ). I know, I know: real books, how obvious and twee. But there is something to be said about having a stack of books out there, apart from the guilt that can come from not finishing them. Now I am much more inclined to pick up one of these when I have a few free minutes instead of my phone. And there is also something to be said about free reading of distractions; I still have to receive a text message or a Slack notification directly in the paper book I am reading.
These types of notifications do not appear in Kindles either, so that does not mean that the Kindles contribute to our distraction problems. The Kindles are also wonderful in making books and all kinds of text immediately accessible to people, a digital consolidation of that pile of books that sit on their bedside table. But it is also another screen, another thing to connect to the Internet, and another thing to load. So, in this week's Versus, we discussed the value of having a complete digital library at your fingertips, facing pages with dog eyes and readings in silos.