Check It Out: Driven to distraction by technology

April 16, 2011|By Jana Colver

The pursuit of happiness drives Western society. And our obsession to find it often is propelled by the need to connect with the latest technology.

For example, thousands will stand in line for the latest gadget because it represents a recent step into our technological vision of our future. Some, however, will argue that our addiction to technological gadgets can also jeopardize our relationships, spirituality, and create a false sense of connection and empowerment.

The following books available at the Newport Beach Public Library support the notion that we must balance our lives and not allow technology to have such a powerful influence over them.


"Married to Distraction: Restoring Intimacy and Strengthening Your Marriage in an Age of Interruption" by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and Sue George Hallowell, LICSW with Melissa Orlov: Do you wish you had more of a connection with your spouse? Do you often mindlessly spend time "screen sucking," reviewing e-mail or surfing the web?

Edward Hallowell teams up with his wife to explain the subtle and dangerous toll technology can take on distracting people from their marriage. Using a mixture of humor, science, empathy and faith, the Hallowells address how you can improve your marriage through carving out uninterrupted time with each other and nurturing your relationship.

"Reboot: Refreshing Your Faith in a High-Tech World" by Peggy Kendall: This is a guide for people who question and recognize that it is often easier to e-mail, Facebook or blog one's personal information or moods rather than relate to people on a personal contact level.

Kendall advocates that we reflect on technology's impact on our daily lives and our spiritual life, as well. She demonstrates that our dependency on technological communication with one another can create fragmented relationships.

For example, Facebook can create "helicopter friendships" that only allow us to "hover" above people's texted situations on a lofty level, and not promote true connections to people.

"The Tyranny of E-Mail: The Four-Thousand-Year Journey to Your Inbox" by John Freeman: Freeman asserts that despite the conveniences of electronic gadgetry, it is taking away time from personal interactions.

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