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The Joy of Missing Out (PDF)
Finding Balance in a Wired World
There's no doubt that technology has overrun our lives. Over the past few decades, the world has embraced "progress" and we're living with the resultant clicking, beeping, anxiety-inducing frenzy. But a creative backlash is gathering steam, helping us cope with the avalanche of data that threatens to overwhelm us daily through our computers, tablets and smartphones.
The Joy of Missing Out considers the technologically focused life, with its impacts on our children, relationships, communities, health, work and more, and suggests opportunities for those of us longing to cultivate a richer on- and off-line existence. By examining the connected world through the lens of her own internet fast, author Christina Crook creates a convincing case for increasing intentionality in our day-to-day lives. Using historical data, typewritten letters, chapter challenges and personal accounts, she invites us to explore a new way of living, beyond our steady state of distracted "connectedness."
Most of us can't throw away our smartphone or cut ourselves off from the Internet. But we can all rethink our relationship with the digital world, discovering new ways of introducing balance and discipline to the role of technology in our lives. This book is a must-read for anyone wishing to rediscover quietness of mind, and seeking a sense of peace amidst the cacophony of the modern world.
Christina Crook is a wordsmith and communications professional whose poetry, essays and interviews on art, culture and technology have appeared in UPPERCASE, CBC.ca, Vancouver Magazine, Today's Parent, MUSE, Geez, Faith Today and the Literary Review of Canada. In 2012 she disabled the data on her smartphone, turned off her email and said goodbye to the Internet for 31 days. This experience, chronicled as the project, Letters from a Luddite, garnered international media attention and fueled Christina's passion for exploring the intersection of technology, relationships and joy.
"Engaging, thought-provoking and delightfully easy to read, The Joy of Missing Out provides practical insights and much-needed hope for an overwhelmed society."
Dr. Susan Biali, M.D., Psychology Today blogger and author, Live a Life You Love
"Christina Crook has crafted a well-researched, utterly readable field guide to finding quiet, and ultimately, ourselves, within today's electronic cacophony."
Mike Tennant, co-author, The Age of Persuasion
"Christina Crook writes prophetically about our complicated, often troubled, relationship with technology. But rather than forecasting gloom and doom for the modern age, Crook proposes meaningful questions for cultivating meaningful lives in the present tense. The Joy of Missing Out reclaims sacred space for all things blessedly human, and I highly recommend it to readers."
Jen Pollock Michel, author, Teach Us to Want
"A skillful meditation on the dynamic of InfoTech and presence. A critique of digital assumptions. A welcome reminder of the real world and its tech shadows."
Raffi Cavoukian, C.M., singer, author of Lightweb Darkweb: Three Reasons to Reform Social Media Before It Re-forms Us
"Weaving together research, personal reflections, and philosophy, Crook offers hope that we can create a new relationship with the digital world... The Joy of Missing Out offers practical, tangible advice for ensuring your online habits are aligned with your values."
Kim Sedgewick, co-founder, Red Tent Sisters
"Crook provides both the proof and the inspiration to invest in real-life experiences and establish healthy tech-life balance. … This book is a life-changer for anyone experiencing the pressure and disconnection of a fast-paced, media-saturated culture."
Rachel Macy Stafford, New York Times bestselling author, Hands Free Mama
[Christina] Crook writes a book in search of those human qualities that matter most. In its own way, it is our age's sequel to The Joy of Cooking and The Joy of Sex. Who knew you could gain so much by selectively giving up so little."
Dr. Read Mercer Schuchardt, Associate Professor of Communication, Wheaton College
"Well-researched and beautifully written, The Joy of Missing Out will encourage you to cultivate your attention span, put pen to paper, spend mindful time with your family and rediscover the pleasure of life, unplugged."
Janine Vangool, publisher and editor, UPPERCASE magazine
"Crook writes in a way that gives us hope and reminds us of the beauty of "real life", without diminishing the value of technology. Her book is relatable, never preachy; it is finely drawn from experience and research. We can learn from this."
Dr. Laurie Petrou, Associate Professor, RTA School of Media, Ryerson University
"If you've ever found yourself checking your cell phone instead of playing with your children, or surfing the web instead of talking to your best friend, this is the book for you."
Christopher Meades, author, The Last Hiccup
"Christina [Crook] calls us to be present with ourselves. Any parent, anyone working in the marketing industry needs to fasten themselves down and read this book (without checking their Facebook newsfeed) and allow Christina to call you to a better place of being. This book is a must-read for anyone who owns a smartphone, has access to the internet, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter."
Darian Kovacs, Founder and Principal, Jelly Marketing
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