19 Apr 2023
Warning: Today’s episode contains strong language
I’m chatting with Johann Hari today, the international bestselling author of ‘Chasing the Scream’, ‘Lost Connections’ and the latest book ‘Stolen Focus’.
Today’s conversation is fascinating. I often find myself opening tabs and not remembering why I opened it, or walking out of my house and having to remind myself why I’m leaving. I naturally assumed it was just me. Overworking and undersleeping is bound to have this effect, but there appears to be something more insidious going on as Johann explains in todays episode. And if you’re like me, you’re definitely not alone.
There are 5 core ideas that we explore today:
One: Your attention didn’t collapse - it was stolen.
Two: If your Screentime shows that you spend more than three hours a day on your phone, then you are losing far more than just time. Your brain can only produce one or two thoughts in your conscious mind at once. We’re very, very single-minded.
Three: The covid crisis has flipped many of us into a state called hypervigilance, which is ruining our focus.
Four: The way we eat in the Western world is severely damaging our attention and focus.
Five: We can only get out of this crisis if we respond as individuals, by making changes in our own lives and our children’s lives, to protect ourselves from forces invading our attention. But we also need to campaign for more humane technology, forcing them to adopt a different business model that isn’t reliant on interrupting, distracting and monetising our attention.
We talk about:
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Johann Hari is an internationally bestselling author. His first book, Chasing the Scream, was a New York Times bestseller and is being adapted into a Hollywood feature film.
His second book, Lost Connections, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. He has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Le Monde and others, and he was twice named Newspaper Journalist of the Year by Amnesty International.
His TED Talk, ‘Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong’, and the animation based on it, have had more than twenty million views. His books have been translated into eighteen languages.
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