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    New York Times Article on Distraction & Technology

    By Jonathan Kaplan, Ph.D.

    Yesterday, the New York Times ran a front page article on how technology can serve as a distraction, and potentially decrease our ability to pay attention at other times.  Check out the article here:  NY Times on Techno-Distraction.

    Its a very interesting article, and particularly ironic to be published on the same day that Apple announces a multitasking feature for the next iPhone.  However, like most devices or technology, the problem lies not in its existence, but rather how we use it.  Despite popular belief to the contrary, we can use our gadgets mindfully.  In fact, there are even phone applications for the practice of meditation and mindfulness.  Personally, I try to do one thing at a time, which isn't always easy.  If I'm writing an article (or blog post), then I strive to finish it before I start checking e-mail, returning phone calls, etc.  Often, I can feel the urge to abandon what I'm doing in order to refresh my inbox or do some research on a seemingly vital topic that I just invented.  Like the thoughts and feelings that arise during meditation, distractions come frequently during everyday life.  If we're not careful, we can end up mindlessly flowing from one activity to the next.  In order to realize (and correct) this process, you might want to keep a record of what you're doing hourly during the day.  You'll likely be surprised with the results.

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