This was a strange meandering prone to tangents uirky book but I really enjoyed it I think a lot of people would feel that it was too meandering but as an audiobook I liked hearing Odell s thoughts on how the attention economy and hustle culture is affecting our lives So how could it happen that even not within a eneration all humans have been transformed into smombies and what happens when someone stops Smoke Across the Fell getting permanent outer input and listening to all inner voices and solilouies Cleaning sile I found an Advanced Reader s Copy of this book at the library where I work so I was able to read this before the publicets to it this April None of the other librarians had taken it and I usually don t end up reading ARCs but after looking at the cover a couple times I found myself خش خش تن برهنه ی تاک genuinely intrigued As I finished the first chapter I knew that I wasoing to read the entire thing I am personally in a state of constant love and hate as well as inspiration and anxiety in terms of my relationship to social media particularly Instagram and this book spoke volumes to me about a term that is curiously not found anywher full disclosure i literally only had one page left to read in this book but i left my backpack with it inside a chipotle anyways it still changed my life It s hard for me to reconcile that the fundamental things the author talks about in this book the attention economy its link to capitalism how we all need to slow down and think about what we re doing are all true and yet the tone is just so smug lecturing and talking down at the reader from the lofty heights of liberal academia as opposed to rooted in the real world where the reader is with the problem at hand To ive you an idea of one of the sentences If we think about what it means to concentrate or pay attention at an individual level it implies alignment different parts of the mind and even the body acting in concert and oriented towards the same thingWhy not just say Concentrating means the body and the mind working togetherThe whole book is like this very hard to et through meandering through the author s personal journey and a checklist of philosophers who are too much to take in at times It s a real shame because the message at its core is very ood Instagram Twitter Facebook PinterestWhile reading this book I kept thinking about this article I read once while crammed onto the packed and sweaty train In one of many social media influencer scandals a raw vegan lifestyle influencer was coming under fire because she was caught eating a meat dish while out at a restaurant with friends Needless to say it was the internet and people were MAD And yes you might say that she had every right to eat that meat it is her life But when you are manufacturing your entire brand around the idea that eating meat is bad and raw vegan is better the message starts to ring a little false if you don t walk the walk or veg the veg You know what they say talk is cheap Her life was her brand and she went off brand and people felt dupedJenny Odell doesn t do anything so deceptive in her book HOW TO DO NOTHING but the message rings similarly false for a wide variety of reasons It isn t that I don t believe she isn t living her brand it s that her brand comes at a cost that is really not affordable
for a very large number of peopleFirst a caveat on Goodreads this a very large number of peopleFirst a caveat on Goodreads this shelved as self help and psychology it is neither This is a philosophical treatise on how the author feels that we can live in a better world by disengaging from the attention economy and finding authentic meaningful things to focus on instead of spending all our time on social media on that to come It reads a lot like the lifestyle influencer s hot take on THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A FCK another book that cherry picked its way into an argument and really annoyed me Maybe I just shouldn t be reading philosophy self helps The author is an artist and an art teacher at Stanford which she will mention several times One of the things she suggests focusing on instead of social media is art as well as nature There are many passages where she waxes on the transformative nature of art and the many museums she s had the pleasure of exploring in the Bay Area There is a sort of intellectual snobbery placed here in the subtext things like social media are reduced to shouting
the void and can t help but feel like one is down in the stands while the author sneers from her the sky box in her high tower Oh the rabble one can t help but feel she is projecting with this mindset Mired in their Facebooks and their Pinterests like the opiates of the masses as she waters an artisinal fern Art and nature are wonderful but those are things that are not readily consumed by all and often reuire privilege to access and I think it s offensive to deduce that there are no meaningful conversations or discoveries occurring on the internet where discourse and art are shared freely Plus not everyone is oing to et something out of nature and art and they will not enjoy it to the same degree The internet offers many opportunities to those who might otherwise have none and even though social media is by no means a perfect democracy it has helped democratize information and resources and help others be seen who might not otherwise have been seen The author is a proponent of bioregionalism which I had to look up and is apparently according to the Oxford dictionary belief. This thrilling critiue of the forces vying for our attention re defines what we think of as productivity shows us a new way to connect with our environment and reveals all that we’ve been too distracted to see about. That human activity should be largely restricted to distinct ecological and eographical regions Which again smacks of privilege because this is coming from someone who lives in the Bay Area and freely consumes the fresh produce natural parks abundant artworks and cultural diversity that thrives here But what if you live somewhere where there s a food desert in a low income region of a big city where I Am Food getting fresh food let alone local food might be difficult or even impossible What if you live in a climate with freuent poor weather conditions or where resources to better oneself are few Bioregionalism only really works in regions that thrive already regions in other words with privilege The author seems to place a very high premium on authenticity and uniue experiences hence the nature and art She frowns on algorithms for being too comfortable and for preventing those outlier experiences that may prove to be transformative the example here is that Spotifyives her a chill mix but she finds enjoyableInto The Void And
Songs From Other Genres On The Radio She Bemoans Howfrom other Clotilda genres on the radio She bemoans how Man has essentially become alamping corporate retreat and yearns for those rustic days of illicit bonfires and bare bones exchanges of Mokee Joe Recharged (Mokee Joe, gifts and resources But this too is a sort of privilege it implies that one has the time and resources to risk a purchase or experience that isn t familiar comfortable or safe Not everyone can afford such a luxury and while algorithms have their problems I m thinking of that article that showed how watching right wing videos on YouTuberadually takes you down a rabbit hole of extremism that results in racist fascist rhetoric they are not completely evil I actually found this author s book through Goodreads s recommendation algorithm it was suggested reading for Marie Kondo s Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up which is hilarious because that is another book that also fails to check its own privilege and probably appeals to the same demographic as this one To her credit the author does make a last ditch effort in the conclusion to say that she understands that nature and art are not readily accessible everywhere and that one should not finish this book leaving with just one conclusion So it s clear she does have some degree of self awareness when it comes to the accessibility of her message But when the entire book is built on condemning everything that makes social media easy and addictive and building up luxuries as necessities it s hard to swallow that message and not rimace At the end of the day social media is like medicine or a tool something that can be abused and become dangerous in the wrong hands but that serves a purpose and is essential for carrying out certain functions or making things run well I recently received a digital detox workbook which I ended up discarding because I found it too frustrating With the work that I do I can t afford to just step away from email
for the day With Black Lives Matter happening right now there s been a lotthe day With Black Lives Matter happening right now there s been a lot controversy about creators influencers and social media presences who have chosen to step away from social media rather than et involved And I Incest Tales 5 get that refusing toet involved in protests against civil rights violations is a VERY different matter from turning off Spotify or not using email for the day but both scenarios carry with the the same basic fundamental elements of privilege the only people who can afford to step away
From The Conversations Are Thethe conversations are the who already know that they won t be negatively impacted by the outcome Black individuals can t step away from the Black Lives Matter movement They don t The Search For Maggie Hare get to block and curate their way to a safe space where the unpleasant discourseoes away Black Lives Matter is their reality their conversation and it s one that they are fighting to change Similarly people who don t have land lines or who might not live near a library and rely on Facebook and the web for their important day to day communications and essential information can t afford to o dark for their own mental health and the transformative experiences that await them in the wilderness or the financial or artisinal districts of their nearest cities might be too far to drive to Those living in rural or low income places devoid of natural or physical resources can t step away from the conversation that keeps everything runningThere s a chart in psychology called Maslow s Hierarchy of Needs that basically states that you can t really focus on self actualization until all of your basic needs are met This book would have you skip right to the top and while it s nice if you re at that point and things are working so well for you a lot of people aren t at that place and some of them never will be HOW TO DO NOTHING is a book that only appeals to a very niche demographic and it appeals to a demographic with a very specific range of hobbies and interests which might not be shared by all I found it incredibly frustrating and irritating by turns and only finished out of a sense of stunned awe I m sure this author is not advocating a total cessation of social media and maybe if she had framed her points better and focused on points that were relatable this would have been a much better book But in the beginning she issues a caveat essentially saying that this book wouldn t be linear and doesn t take you to any specific conclusion and that she changes her mind several times paraphrased Which okay That so. Our selves and our worldWhen the technologies we use every day collapse our experiences into 247 availability platforms for personal branding and products to be monetized nothing can be uite so radical as doing nothi. Unds like a cop out to me and if you re not sure what the message is of the conversation that you and if you re not sure what the message is of the conversation that you rather we d have instead why should we bother to listenOf course this is my reading of this book and your own opinion may vary drastically from mine I write this as someone who loves art and culture eats locally and tries to enjoy nature whenever she can but also as someone who understands that it is my privilege that enables me to enjoy these things I also write this as a blogger and creator who heavily relies on social media to do my work and has perfected the art of shouting into the void to achieve meaningful discourse I can see why HOW TO DO NOTHING appeals to so many but I also completely sympathize with every negative review where the writer found the book too pretentious or too privileged to relate toFor many it will be1 star First I understand the negative reviews of this
Book The Title Is Misleading As This Is Not AtThe title is misleading as this is not at a how to on unplugging or leaving social media for that maybe read Cal Newport s Digital Collective self help for middle class leftist intelligentsia Has the feeling of taking a leisurely stroll with your loony hippie friend who is at once an overeducated ecosocialist and a crackpot Zen mind hacker You have no idea why she loves birdwatching so much to her it s a proto spiritual experience to you it seems superficially like playing Pok mon Go nor can you figure out how she affords to live on the Oakland Piedmont border without a full time job The slick meta takeaway is that the very act of reading this book is an exercise in the kind of deliberate anti productivity that Odell is urging Can t decide if this is 2 or 4 stars so I ll ive it a 3 A thoughtful steadying book about the importance of doing nothing in a capitalist culture that always encourages productivity Instead of providing hard and fast strategies to disengage from work and social media Jenny Odell offers of a smart flowing reflection on the importance of separating ourselves from feeling like we have to work feeling like we have to broadcast our lives on social media 247 She makes lots of astute observations about the monetization of time and the value of our attention as well as the privilege that comes with the capacity to disconnect from our jobs and from forums like Facebook She channels her energy into bioregionalism and encourages us to attune ourselves to our direct physical environments Reading this book felt like Little Violets Family Perversions going on a serene walk with a smart yet unpretentious friend Odell s ideas while calmly expressed carryreat implications for redirecting our focus into our relationships and our environment instead of performing
busyness and subsuming our identities in our productivity At times I wanted just a bit oomphand subsuming our identities in our productivity At times I wanted just a bit oomph a directive stance on how we can actually fuel a shift to often do nothing either on the individual level or the societal level Yet Odell does provide small yet significant examples of that both through what she shares of her own life and the artists she alludes to I found Odell to be a تهران پایتخت دویست ساله-مجموعه مقالات great writer truly She has an airy atmospheric and journalistic tone to her prose while also imbuing her ideas with an impressive amount of supporting researchHowever this book doesn t know what it wants to be auide for others or her personal journalingthesis on how the author lives her life The basis on which it was written at first is to demonstrate resisting a constant state of capitalist productivity so the idea presented here is for those of us who have drunk the Kool Aid from the Digital Detox movement realized that it has its own agenda making sure your time is well spentin productivity of course and are looking for alternate philosophies to navigating today s murky waters while insisting fishies pulling us in all possible directionsIf Cal Newport s Deep WorkDigital Minimalism is at one end of the spectrum telling you how to free up space in your life for what is important with the focus however being on economically important workcraft How to Do Nothing is at the other end this doesn t discuss actually doing nothing at all with your life but making space for the the ephemeral soul Fap for the Mothman growing type things which make us human that aren t and can never be uantified by an economy as useful Things such as this can include communing with nature sitting in parks walks hikesardening the like connecting with strangersyour community art in all contextual mediums personal activities such as making your own autonomous choices about what to readwatchenjoy and others However the bulk of Odells book spends too much of its time explaining the cultural historical and empirical evidence for how the author herself does nothing via birdwatching bird listening rather creatingspeaking about art trying to reconnect with her Bay Area landneighborhoodswhich is all reat for her but doesn t necessarily connect with the reader and it didn t connect with me at all Even her final chapter bit about social media provided no new insights other than what you d probably discuss with your own friendsfamily or overhear at a coffee shopWhile I do appreciate her own insights I didn t feel that this book accomplished what it sought out to do how to do nothing implies a methodology an organized way of thinking through a process even if the process is philosophical than material which was lacking here Perhaps this had better been called I did Nothing And Resisted the Attention Economy. Ng Here Jenny Odell sends up a flare from the heart of Silicon Valley delivering an action plan to resist capitalist narratives of productivity and techno determinism and to become meaningfully connected in the proces.