Odell's book focuses on the distraction of social media, however, she approaches the topic from a philosophical perspective that goes way beyond the social media realm. Her book isn't really about "doing nothing." Instead, the book focuses on the rise of social media, and how the constant updates and check-ins on social media have changed the way we interact with the real world. She also addresses how the distraction of social media has distanced us from the lives we actually live, and how a constant diet of news headlines, FOMO, and awareness of the latest "whatever" hasn't really contributed positively to the daily experience. Instead, the neediness of the attention economy just manifests more anxiety and sleep deprivation. Odell's book is full of historical context. She incorporates the words of Greek philosophers, artists, the environment, the demands of capitalism, and her own observations into a book that is rich with detailed and thoughtful observation.
I have been continually re-analyzing the way that I interact with social media, and this book gave me a lot of questions to mull over. The points Odell makes in this book really hit close to home. After listening to an interview with the author, I decided to make some changes. I still have social media - it's not a platform I intend to completely remove from my life. However, I was certainly guilty of the mindless scroll, and I know that I gave myself more anxiety by doing so. I deleted Instagram and Facebook off my phone and I deleted the login information also. Now, I have scheduled times of the week where I check-in on both platforms. They still exist in my life, but I am intentional about how I interact in those spaces. Immediately, I've felt such a relaxation in my thoughts. I'm more focused, and I don't find myself reaching for my phone every five minutes - really because there's not much to engage my attention besides my Spanish language app or the weather.
If you don't have the time to read this book full at the moment (it is a dense read), I highly suggest checking out Odell's interview with Jon Faveau from the Offline Podcast.More info →