STARRED REVIEW
September 2017

Step away from the screens

Manoush Zomorodi

In Bored and Brilliant, Manoush Zomorodi argues that stepping away from technology is not just healthy, it is essential for creativity and productivity. Research shows that people are now shifting their focus every 45 seconds while working online due to interruptions and competing messages. But being constantly tethered to a phone or tablet is no way to treat our brains if we want to foster new ideas.

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My name is Amy, and I’m a Candy Crush addict.

Whenever I pick up my phone, those brightly colored, glossy squares beckon, and I can easily squander 30 minutes mindlessly swiping at the screen. It’s soothing—and hugely unproductive. In Bored and Brilliant, Manoush Zomorodi argues that stepping away from technology is not just healthy, it is essential for creativity and productivity. Research shows that people are now shifting their focus every 45 seconds while working online due to interruptions and competing messages. But being constantly tethered to a phone or tablet is no way to treat our brains if we want to foster new ideas.

Zomorodi, who hosts the popular podcast “Note to Self,” writes, “Creativity—no matter how you define or apply it—needs a push, and boredom, which allows new and different connections to form in our brain, is a most effective muse.” More than 20,000 people around the world signed up when Zomorodi launched the Bored and Brilliant Project, a weeklong challenge to get people to disconnect from their gadgets and tune in to their own thoughts. Challenges like going photo-free for a day are all specifically designed to reconnect us with the world.

In this age of information, Zomorodi’s book seems revolutionary, almost subversive. Sprinkled liberally with research and insights from some of the leading minds in technology and futurism, Bored and Brilliant is an important reminder that we are not beholden to our devices. As for me, I’ve deleted the Candy Crush app from my iPhone . . . for now.

 

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read our Q&A with Manoush Zomorodi for Bored and Brilliant.

This article was originally published in the September 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Bored and Brilliant

Bored and Brilliant

St. Martin's
ISBN 9781250124951

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