Dealing with Distraction in the Modern World, with Matt Crawford

August 10, 2015

Every year technology produces more innovative ways to entertain us. Everything from Twitter to Candy Crush and from billboards to viral commercials, the information that engrosses us on a daily basis makes dull tasks such as waiting in line at the post office pass in the blink of an eye. But what happens when the distractions of technology don’t disappear when you leave the queue?

Here to talk about the difficulty of unplugging our brains from our media-drenched world is author and contributing editor to The New Atlantis, Mathew Crawford.

Crawford is a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia and the author of The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction. Crawford explains some of the extensive research that is behind the design of manufactured experiences like social media and advertising, and explains how our brains are susceptible to these distractions in ways that give us very little control in escaping them. More troubling, Crawford discusses why some of the behaviors our brains have adopted may be hindering our ability to not only master genuine skills, but also our ability to complete menial tasks effectively.