Distracted: Reclaiming Our Focus in a World of Lost Attention
This visionary book details the steep costs of our deepening crisis of distraction and reveals remarkable scientific discoveries that can help us rekindle our powers of focus and sustained attention.
In the first edition of this groundbreaking book, Maggie Jackson sounded a prescient warning of a looming crisis: the fragmentation of attention that is eroding our abilities to problem-solve, innovate, and care for one another. Now in this updated edition with an incisive new preface, she offers both a renewed wake-up call and a path forward as we reckon with one of the most pressing problems of our time.
How can we harness the technological marvels of our age more wisely and turn data into knowledge and distraction into skillful attention? How can we reset human bonds in a time of deep disconnection? We must, she argues, curb technological excess by cultivating the full gamut of our attentional capabilities. We must look first to the human behind the device.
Jackson is our expert guide in exploring the historic roots of distraction, the perils we face in melding human and machine, and the cutting-edge science that reveals the attentional skills most needed in an age of overload. Timely and unforgettable, Distracted offers a harrowing yet hopeful account of the fate of our highest human capacity.
About the Author
Maggie Jackson is an award-winning author and journalist whose commentary and articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New Philosopher, and on National Public Radio, among many other publications. Her essays feature in numerous anthologies, including The State of the American Mind: Sixteen Leading Critics on the New Anti-Intellectualism (Templeton, 2015) and The Digital Divide (Penguin, 2010). A former Boston Globe contributing columnist, Jackson lives in New York City and Rhode Island with her family.
Praise for Distracted: Reclaiming Our Focus in a World of Lost Attention
“Prescient when it originally appeared, Distracted is now MORE ESSENTIAL THAN EVER. This new edition deserves your full attention.”
– Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows and The Glass Cage
“Maggie Jackson has an ear fine-tuned to what is important in the culture—to the trends that matter! She writes beautifully, in a way that commands attention, but when there is poetry in her subject she makes sure that it gets its due. I’m a fan!”
—Sherry Turkle, MIT Professor, and author of Reclaiming Conversation and Alone Together