A challenge: Can you get through reading this entire review without checking your Facebook news feed even once? If your phone blasts Beethoven’s Fifth or some peppy marimbas to herald the thrilling arrival of a new email, can you wait to read it?
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is betting that you can’t. His amusing and edifying new book, “The Distraction Addiction,” addresses those of us who feel bereft to the point of complete panic without our cellphones. Who worry that we are descending into early dementia, so dependent are we on our search engines to remember anything. And that, he claims, is pretty much all of us. When we’re not online, where most of us spend fully four months of each year, we’re engaged in the stressful work of trying to get online: “Computer users spend an average of forty-three minutes every day — five hours a week, or eleven days a year — waiting for computers to start up, shut down, load software, open files, connect to the Internet.”
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The Distraction Addiction
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Little, Brown, $28