Bored and Brilliant
Has your smartphone become your BFF? Do you feel bored when you're not checking Facebook or Instagram? Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self explains the connection between boredom and original thinking, and explores how we can harness boredom's hidden benefits to become our most productive selves.In 2015, WNYC Studio's 'Note To Self' host Manoush Zomorodi led thousands of her listeners through a week of experiments designed to help them reassess their technology habits, unplug for part of each week and jumpstart their creativity. Throughout the book are a series of challenges that will help readers rethink their relationship to their devices without completely leaving the digital world.Zomorodi also explores why putting greater emphasis on "doing nothing" is vital in an age of constant notifications and digital distractions. She speaks with neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists about "mind wandering"--what our brains do when we're doing nothing at all, and the link between boredom and creativity.Bored and Brilliant is about living smarter and better within a digital world. Technology isn't going anywhere, and who would want it to? Bored and Brilliant teaches us how to align our gadget use with what we hold dear and true, and find equilibrium in this new digital ecosystem.

Bored and Brilliant Details

TitleBored and Brilliant
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 5th, 2017
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
ISBN-139781250124951
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Self Help, Psychology, Science

Bored and Brilliant Review

  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    I am very interested in the topic of phone use and overuse. I am not anti-technology (and neither is the author of this book), but I do find the overuse of phones by much of American society alarming. Zomorodi was definitely preaching to the choir with me as a reader.Zomorodi includes research to back up the idea that we are more creative when we allow ourselves to be “bored” and allow our minds to wander. I do not carry my smartphone around in my hand and it is seldom in view when I am out with I am very interested in the topic of phone use and overuse. I am not anti-technology (and neither is the author of this book), but I do find the overuse of phones by much of American society alarming. Zomorodi was definitely preaching to the choir with me as a reader.Zomorodi includes research to back up the idea that we are more creative when we allow ourselves to be “bored” and allow our minds to wander. I do not carry my smartphone around in my hand and it is seldom in view when I am out with others, so I am actually not her primary audience. Still, even I found some of her seven challenges (to change your relationship with your phone and increase your productivity and creativity) of interest. Most of them are not a challenge for me (keep your device out of reach while in motion – already do that; have a photo free day – most of my days are photo free, etc.). But I certainly waste time on the internet on my laptop, if not my smartphone.I found myself wanting to quote long passages of the book because they match my own experiences so well. For example,“In a study from 2014 called the iPhone Effect: The Quality of In-Person Social Interaction in the Presence of Mobile Devices, researchers at Virginia Tech found that the mere presence of a mobile device, even just lying there, seemingly benign on the kitchen counter, can lower the empathy exchanged between two friends.” (p. 56)and“This isn’t just a productivity or focus issue. [Gloria] Mark’s lab has found that the more people switch their attention, the higher their stress level. That is especially concerning, she says, because the modern workplace feeds on interruptions.” (p. 89)The text was engaging and the research cited compelling. If you would like to decrease the amount of time you waste on your smartphone (or laptop), you might find this short and easy to read book of interest.I read an advance reader copy of Bored But Brilliant. It will be published in early September.
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  • Jess Macallan
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I was interested in the premise of this book--the idea that by unplugging and purposefully allowing ourselves to be bored, we could benefit creatively and in other ways. I enjoyed the information--both studies and interviews with experts--that outlined our need for and addiction to technology, specifically our smartphones. I did the challenges outlined in the book, which sound surprisingly easy but was harder to exe I received an e-copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I was interested in the premise of this book--the idea that by unplugging and purposefully allowing ourselves to be bored, we could benefit creatively and in other ways. I enjoyed the information--both studies and interviews with experts--that outlined our need for and addiction to technology, specifically our smartphones. I did the challenges outlined in the book, which sound surprisingly easy but was harder to execute. I'm not as addicted to certain features of my phone, so it wasn't hard to delete overused apps and refrain from taking pictures for a day. It was more difficult to acknowledge how many times I mindlessly check my phone in a day. Let's just say it's a lot of wasted time, and I don't have a good reason for it.This book offers a lot of food for thought, and anyone who uses a smartphone should read it, if for no other reason than to gain a little perspective about putting the phone or tablet down more often and reconnecting with what really matters.
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  • SundayAtDusk
    January 1, 1970
    This book is an interesting and concise look at how technology, particularly cell phone usage, is greatly reducing the amount of time one’s wandering mind is daydreaming, coming up with highly creative ideas and “autobiographical planning”. If you’re doing stuff on your cell phone all the time, your mind can’t wander. Not good. Don’t imagine this is an anti-tech book, however. It most certainly is not. Manoush Zomorodi is obviously a person who thinks cell phones are here to stay and can’t be li This book is an interesting and concise look at how technology, particularly cell phone usage, is greatly reducing the amount of time one’s wandering mind is daydreaming, coming up with highly creative ideas and “autobiographical planning”. If you’re doing stuff on your cell phone all the time, your mind can’t wander. Not good. Don’t imagine this is an anti-tech book, however. It most certainly is not. Manoush Zomorodi is obviously a person who thinks cell phones are here to stay and can’t be lived without. She is simply encouraging tighter control over using them, and encourages paying more attention to how much time you spend using them. Ms. Zomorodi conducted a Bored and Brilliant experiment in 2015 with the radio listeners of her WNYC podcast Note To Self. This book concentrates on that experiment and includes comments from some of the participants of the experiment. Overall this is a noteworthy read, but not that noteworthy. Nothing the author or the participants say seems like anything new about modern day technology. It’s all been said before, it’s all been noted before. Maybe if you are someone who really does need to reduce the time you spend every day looking at one screen or another, this book will be useful to you. For me, it was just another sad look at those who actually think they can’t live without their cell phones, except for very short periods of time; where those very short periods of time are seen as huge accomplishments.(Note: I received a free ARC of this book from Amazon Vine.)
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  • Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition
    January 1, 1970
    When very bored, your brain apparently goes into a "default mode" - that is when creativity and productivity is at it's best. The premise of this statement is that if you are not otherwise distracted, you can think more clearly (obviously) however, according to the study by Manoush Zomorodi, people nowadays are NEVER not distracted, primarily by their cell phones and other devices.In fact, she states that the only businesses that refer to their customers as "users" are technolgy /software develo When very bored, your brain apparently goes into a "default mode" - that is when creativity and productivity is at it's best. The premise of this statement is that if you are not otherwise distracted, you can think more clearly (obviously) however, according to the study by Manoush Zomorodi, people nowadays are NEVER not distracted, primarily by their cell phones and other devices.In fact, she states that the only businesses that refer to their customers as "users" are technolgy /software developers and drug dealers!Zomorodi proves that it is good to be bored once in a while by her research and proposes a 7 Day Challenge to wean people off their electronic devices:The Bored and Brilliant Seven-Step Program CHALLENGE ONE: Observe Yourself First you’ll track your digital habits—and most likely be shocked by what you discover. CHALLENGE TWO: Keep Your Devices Out of Reach While in Motion Keep your phone out of sight while you’re in transit—so no walking and texting! CHALLENGE THREE: Photo-Free Day No pics of food, kitten, kids—nada. CHALLENGE FOUR: Delete That App Take the one app you can’t live without and trash it. (Don’t worry, you’ll live.) CHALLENGE FIVE: Take a Fakecation You’ll be in the office but out of touch.CHALLENGE SIX: Observe Something Else Reclaim the art of noticing. CHALLENGE SEVEN: The Bored and Brilliant Challenge In a culmination of all the exercises, you’ll use your new powers of boredom to make sense of your life and set goals.I found the interviews with software developers to be interesting and informative.It was also fun to read the responses from her volunteers who went through the 7 step challenge.I thought I used my phone a lot when not neccessary and was somewhat addicted to social media, so I downloaded the monitoring software and found I did not pick up my phone nearly as much as the people who participated in the survey and it was relatively easy for me to participate in all of the challenges, especially deleting apps - it was a kind of silly relief to delete HBO and Hulu and I found I absolutely did not miss out on anything by not using Facebook for up to 40 days at a time!(but I did not delete FB after all, argh)The "fakecation" from work emails is something that some of our departments do at crunch time anyway, so that was not a problem either.I thought the book was a little too long and have a feeling that my millenial aged son would have a harder time with these challenges than I did, but it would be a good eye-opener for anyone who uses electronic devices to look into this.PS. I love Manoush Zomorodi's "Note To Self" broadcasts on NPR
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  • Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    I did not like this book. The premise is that we can be more creative if we stop turning to social media when we are bored. The book was simplistic, poorly researched, and included no reference section, Even worse, the author, a "podcaster", reported her online project as if it was an experiment which it clearly is not. I also found the title to be a misnomer. The title implies that if you are bored you can be creative and brilliant. In fact, what the author means is that if you are bored, you c I did not like this book. The premise is that we can be more creative if we stop turning to social media when we are bored. The book was simplistic, poorly researched, and included no reference section, Even worse, the author, a "podcaster", reported her online project as if it was an experiment which it clearly is not. I also found the title to be a misnomer. The title implies that if you are bored you can be creative and brilliant. In fact, what the author means is that if you are bored, you can choose not to turn to social media, and instead think creatively, These two things are not the same. There are many brilliant academics who write on these topics much more succinctly, I found Manoush Zomorodi's musings watered down and sometimes inaccurate.Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy.
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  • Janelle
    January 1, 1970
    “...mobile consumers now spend an average of two hours and fifty-seven minutes each day on mobile devices.”Waiting in line to check out? Fire up Candy Crush. On your commute? Get caught up on blogs or YouTube vids. One laaaast round of checks on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter before the theater darkens for the movie previews. (And then another check when the lights come up to catch what you missed.)We have the option to never, ever be bored. There’s always something, somewhere willing to keep “...mobile consumers now spend an average of two hours and fifty-seven minutes each day on mobile devices.”Waiting in line to check out? Fire up Candy Crush. On your commute? Get caught up on blogs or YouTube vids. One laaaast round of checks on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter before the theater darkens for the movie previews. (And then another check when the lights come up to catch what you missed.)We have the option to never, ever be bored. There’s always something, somewhere willing to keep us occupied, and it's rarely farther than a pocket. According to Manoush Zomorodi, host of NPR’s Note to Self program, that’s a problem.In 2015, Note to Self launched a week-long project to promote boredom. Through a series of challenges, Bored and Brilliant participants were encouraged to think through how, when, and why they engage with technology. This book emerged from that project, giving Zomorodi a chance not only to talk about the outcomes of the project itself, but also some of the rationale behind each component challenge. She interviews scientists and laypersons along the way.But why boredom? Isn’t it *good* that we can use these otherwise unproductive three minutes at Starbucks to touch base with a friend on Facebook? What else would we possibly do with that time?Zomorodi argues that the cumulative effect of all these check-ins cost us creativity and introspection. The brain desperately needs to these unoccupied moments to tie disparate parts of our lived experience together in new and creative ways. The wandering mind moves backward and forward, updating your narrative of self and the world around you. Every time you fire up Candy Crush, you’re unconsciously choosing not to let your mind wander. Zomorodi works hard to present the scientific evidence for this view and to keep it morally neutral--she frequently mentions her own addiction to an online game as evidence that she suffers along with the rest of us--but it’s not hard to see that some readers are going to be defensive about this notion.The portion of the book that spoke to me loudest was a passage in which Zomorodi interviews a couple of college professors who bemoan how their students prefer to communicate via text rather than office hours. A student points out that a text or email allows her to choose her words in advance, so as not to say the wrong thing. One of the professors points out that makes her own job harder. If a student asks a precise question over text/email, the professor can only answer the question posed. A student who stumbles through an idea verbally, who makes mistakes and corrects herself as she goes along, who leaves openings where the professor might probe further or reframe portions of the question… this is how academic inquiry and discovery happen best. Yes, it’s messier, but it’s also more likely to engage the student. “...perhaps our biggest loss is that of patience. Patience to let someone finish an imperfect thought; patience to read a dense paragraph not once, twice, but three times to understand an intricate point; patience to let a simple thought that crosses your mind grow into a mediocre concept and only then blossom into an outstanding idea. These things take time. And the one thing our phones can’t give us is more hours in the day.”In describing the premise of the book to a co-worker, she pointed out that distraction has always been with us. Forty years ago, the commuter train car might have been full of folks reading a paper rather than their cell phones. She’s right: screens are a new iteration of an old habit. There was no magical past in which strangers were happy and willing to engage with one another on the morning commute that has now been taken from us by smartphones. However, Zomorodi isn’t anti-technology. She hasn’t chucked her iPhone into the East River, and she’s not inciting us to rise up in revolution against our electronic masters. Instead, she’s arguing that a healthier relationship with our phones will open up more space in our lives for creative thinking. You can check out the original Bored and Brilliant project challenges online. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley.For further reading about the merits of distraction-free work, I recommend Cal Newport’s Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.If you’re a parent, you might be interested in an internet movement to ask parents to commit to not buying smartphones for a child until 8th grade.
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent take on the current epidemic of digital addiction. I listened to this book and it was delightful. Ms. Zomorodi is known for her podcast Note to Self, and is easily one of the best nonfiction narrators I've ever heard. She has a talent for emphasis and inflection, and for boiling down large ideas into clear concepts.Also the audiobook includes a very interesting interview with one of the creators of the game Two Dots, which is conversational and podcasty in form.I would also recommen An excellent take on the current epidemic of digital addiction. I listened to this book and it was delightful. Ms. Zomorodi is known for her podcast Note to Self, and is easily one of the best nonfiction narrators I've ever heard. She has a talent for emphasis and inflection, and for boiling down large ideas into clear concepts.Also the audiobook includes a very interesting interview with one of the creators of the game Two Dots, which is conversational and podcasty in form.I would also recommend buying the physical book though, since it is full of exercises and visual information that is hard to replicate in audio. I will be revisiting the physical copy soon.
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  • James Sheasley
    January 1, 1970
    Toward the end of her book, Manoush writes, "I'm a sucker for an expert opinion," and I share that trait, which is why as soon as I found out this brilliant person was writing a book, I had to have it. I didn't quite devour it, as one does with many books, in part because I wanted to do the challenges individually and give each chapter the requisite mental space to be fully digested. I'm glad that I did. While I've been listening to her podcast "Note to Self" for many years, and had intended to Toward the end of her book, Manoush writes, "I'm a sucker for an expert opinion," and I share that trait, which is why as soon as I found out this brilliant person was writing a book, I had to have it. I didn't quite devour it, as one does with many books, in part because I wanted to do the challenges individually and give each chapter the requisite mental space to be fully digested. I'm glad that I did. While I've been listening to her podcast "Note to Self" for many years, and had intended to participate in the original Bored and Brilliant challenge week, I gave up on day two. I lacked the necessary motivation, perhaps because I wanted to know more, and more deeply, than Manoush was able to present during each day's short segment. (I've since discovered that this is because I'm a "questioner," as Gretchen Rubin describes it--you'll find her name and her own book as part of the advance praise on the back of the dust jacket.)Giving us more information is exactly what this book is about. Manoush is an excellent thinker (and researcher) precisely because she does speak with so many brilliant and insightful individuals, and she brings all of that hard work and deep thought into this book. Having the opportunity to read the psychology behind each day's challenge was eye-opening and motivating for me.This book is crucial for today's world, and I hope it becomes a seminal text when it comes to our relationship with technology. It is partially because Manoush is not a troglodyte that I respect her so much. As she quotes Greg McKeown in chapter 8, "technology makes a great servant but a poor master," and it is precisely for that reason that we must reclaim our time and recognize our devices as tools and not sentient beings clamoring for our attention.Manoush lays out the path for a better relationship not just to technology, but also to the world around us. This book is absolutely worth reading (and slowly, so you have time to absorb its contents).
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    Despite feeling like I’ve heard about many of the broad conclusions Manoush Zomorodi espouses about digital addiction in “Bored and Brilliant,” reading about how and why our brains become addicted to checking Facebook, reaching automatically to check a buzzing notification and compulsively playing a game well past a reasonable bedtime was fun and interesting. This book is every Slate think piece from the last five years about the problems associated with constant smartphone use without the judgm Despite feeling like I’ve heard about many of the broad conclusions Manoush Zomorodi espouses about digital addiction in “Bored and Brilliant,” reading about how and why our brains become addicted to checking Facebook, reaching automatically to check a buzzing notification and compulsively playing a game well past a reasonable bedtime was fun and interesting. This book is every Slate think piece from the last five years about the problems associated with constant smartphone use without the judgment or shaming and offers concrete steps to evaluate and change your habits.The concept was born of a voluntary experiment Zomorodi conducted with her “Note to Self” radio show listeners in 2015 in which they were challenged to truly take stock of their device usage and possibly make some changes to free up the mind to wander, when it is more likely to stumble onto something brilliant. After an explanation of the science of boredom and even a little history of the word, each chapter tackles one concern of the digital era – taking photos instead of experiencing something, compulsively playing “Candy Crush” – and explains what these habits are doing to our brains as well as the good and the bad about it. Zomorodi herself is with you, admitting to her own addictions and compulsions, and at no point is the sky falling or communication as we know it doomed. Each chapter introduces a challenge, like the one Zomorodi originally did with her listeners, asking the reader to log their usage, delete their most addictive app, etc.Is this any ground that hasn’t been covered before? No. But the user-friendliness of summarizing research and anecdotes, combining them with a conversational style, and including a guide toward breaking your more destructive habits makes this book more useful than that New York Times article you read about how people are turning their brains to mush by handing over control to little machines that control them that just left you feeling depressed.
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    I'd give this 3.5 stars if I could.I listen to the "Note to Self" podcast regularly, so I was excited to read this. I even participated in the "Bored and Brilliant" challenge on her show. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is it is 100% her voice. I could practically hear her reading the book to me, but that's also because a lot of this came directly from her show. If you are a regular listener, there really isn't a ton of new info in here. If you aren't, then you certainly will I'd give this 3.5 stars if I could.I listen to the "Note to Self" podcast regularly, so I was excited to read this. I even participated in the "Bored and Brilliant" challenge on her show. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is it is 100% her voice. I could practically hear her reading the book to me, but that's also because a lot of this came directly from her show. If you are a regular listener, there really isn't a ton of new info in here. If you aren't, then you certainly will learn a thing or two.I really like that in the last chapter she says that she hates when people call the challenge a "digital detox", because detoxes don't help people form better habits. I think she's spot on, especially since our society today loves throwing the word "detox" around like it's freaking confetti. This book gives some helpful ideas and prompts/challenges to be more deliberate with your digital media usage, and is a good mix of anecdotes and legit research/expert commentary.As an educator, I think there are some chapters in here that would be relevant for college/grad students to read, and I have already recommended it to some of my communication professors with whom I work. The only reason I didn't rate this higher is because it's almost too casual for me -- I personally like books like this to have a little less of a casual tone, but I think that also made this book charming, in a way. Like I mentioned above, she really writes how she speaks. I also felt like it could have expanded on some topics more/reduced some of the casual conversation to get a little more meaty. It almost seems like this is a compilation of all the articles I've read on the internet about neuroscience, creativity, digital media, etc. It certainly saves readers the trouble of finding all those articles on their own, but I would have liked a little bit of a deeper dive. Thanks to Netgalley for the free pre-published edition.
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  • Carin
    January 1, 1970
    This book grew out of the podcast, "Notes to Self" from WNYC. T here are essentially two premises: we no longer allow ourselves to be bored which means we are losing our creativity, and a corollary of that, we need to be much more aware of how much we're using our electronic devices. Personally, I found the corollary more interesting than the main point.Now, that might be because I don't work in a creative job myself (although it is very much creative-adjacent.) Although one crucial aspect of cr This book grew out of the podcast, "Notes to Self" from WNYC. T here are essentially two premises: we no longer allow ourselves to be bored which means we are losing our creativity, and a corollary of that, we need to be much more aware of how much we're using our electronic devices. Personally, I found the corollary more interesting than the main point.Now, that might be because I don't work in a creative job myself (although it is very much creative-adjacent.) Although one crucial aspect of creativity for everyone includes creative problem-solving, which is harder when your brain has no time to rest,I did find it fascinating that when I started reading this book, my sister commented that her job as a guard at the Cleveland Museum of Art actually is super-boring and that she and her fellow guards (most of whom are artists) all carry notepads because of the great ideas they get at work. (Two chapters after she mentioned this, museum guards were given as an example, in the book! Weird.)In order to be more bored, we've got to put down our iPhones, laptops, and iPads. Of course, that's a heck of a lot harder to do than say. And Ms. Zomorodi has a series of tactics or exercises which can open your eyes about how much, how often, how long, and how unproductively our phone use might actually be. And knowledge is power as, after doing these exercises, pretty much everyone reduces their screen time (albeit, not by much.) She also points out the inherent irony of parents limiting their kids' screen time while playing Candy Crush all day themselves. The irony isn't the problem of course—it's the behavior modelling.So if either of these are issues that concern you--the growing lack of creativity in our lives, or the ever-presence of electronic devices, this book is for you. It won't fix the problem, but awareness is the first step.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    Enhance Your Creativity: Detach from Your Smart PhoneSmart phones are useful, but they can become a crutch that keeps us from getting in touch with our creative side and distances us from other people. Zomorodi, host of WNYC Studio’s ‘Not to Self,’ realized that being constantly plugged in to her smart phone was keeping her from doing other things, like thinking. She wondered if other people had the same problem. She got her answer when she offered her listeners a series of experiments to help t Enhance Your Creativity: Detach from Your Smart PhoneSmart phones are useful, but they can become a crutch that keeps us from getting in touch with our creative side and distances us from other people. Zomorodi, host of WNYC Studio’s ‘Not to Self,’ realized that being constantly plugged in to her smart phone was keeping her from doing other things, like thinking. She wondered if other people had the same problem. She got her answer when she offered her listeners a series of experiments to help them get away from their phones and hundreds of people signed up. The book describes the experiments and encourages the reader to try them. One of my favorites was deleting an app you’re spending too much time on. Zamorodi was addicted to Two Dots. It wasn’t easy to delete the app, but it was remarkable how much time she had to think when when she wasn’t glued to the device. The book also contains information she gathered from neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists. The research is discussed in the chapter which is most closely related to the experiment being described.I don’t have a particularly bad phone habit, but I found the exercises helpful. Some of the research is well worth reading. You know that people aren’t really paying attention to you when their eyes keeping straying to their smart phone. Just the presence of the smart phone in viewing range can reduce the empathy between friends. I recommend this book if you want to cut your phone dependence, or if you’re interested in the psychology of phone use. I received this book from Net Galley for this review.
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early September.Taking from a segment of her radio show, Note to Self, Zomorodi dissects her challenge to unplug and be less reliant on handheld technology, as well as includes the responses from listeners who took and were (mostly, begrudgingly, or easily) able to complete this challenge. It really doesn't take much to acknowledge the feelings of bogged-down-ness, besotted-ness, and being on a short leash with one' Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early September.Taking from a segment of her radio show, Note to Self, Zomorodi dissects her challenge to unplug and be less reliant on handheld technology, as well as includes the responses from listeners who took and were (mostly, begrudgingly, or easily) able to complete this challenge. It really doesn't take much to acknowledge the feelings of bogged-down-ness, besotted-ness, and being on a short leash with one's cellphones and the need to take photos as a way of anticipating positive social media agreement with the photo's subject, therein isolating a moment, rather than living within it. This makes Zomorodi's recommendations to self-police one's internet usage, playing games that enable problemsolving, finding quiet time during one's workday for refocus and remain mindful, and to notice your surroundings all the more crucial.
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  • Laura Reading
    January 1, 1970
    Educational and interesting. A scholarly look at how changing technology affects the human brain and how humans deal with choosing to prioritize (or not) use of time.I was expecting a discussion on letting ones mind wander to stimulate deeper creative thinking.That topic was covered along with much more. A good portion of the book investigates human behavior, addictive or obsessive, and habits dealing with cell phones and similar electronic devices and the need to be continually connected, wheth Educational and interesting. A scholarly look at how changing technology affects the human brain and how humans deal with choosing to prioritize (or not) use of time.I was expecting a discussion on letting ones mind wander to stimulate deeper creative thinking.That topic was covered along with much more. A good portion of the book investigates human behavior, addictive or obsessive, and habits dealing with cell phones and similar electronic devices and the need to be continually connected, whether to social media or available for work. Will future generations know how to sit still, do nothing, or observe and consider, coming to conclusions by themselves? Included are many references I will be looking into further.The book also offers an organised challenge for the readers to discover their own patterns of electronics use. It allows an opportunity to rethink or at least become aware of how one uses time.I thank Netgalley for allowing me to read this book.
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  • Lindsey
    January 1, 1970
    Thoughtful, well written and researched. If you've ever thought "hey, I'm addicted to social media or my phone or a game..." and then picked up your phone (or sat at your computer) and looked at or played said thing anyway ... this book is for you. I have a love/hate relationship with any kind of productivity, self-help or business themed book. I can't stop myself from reading them, but I tend to strongly dislike most of them.. Bored and Brilliant is different.With this book, I found myself stop Thoughtful, well written and researched. If you've ever thought "hey, I'm addicted to social media or my phone or a game..." and then picked up your phone (or sat at your computer) and looked at or played said thing anyway ... this book is for you. I have a love/hate relationship with any kind of productivity, self-help or business themed book. I can't stop myself from reading them, but I tend to strongly dislike most of them.. Bored and Brilliant is different.With this book, I found myself stopping. And thinking. And evaluating myself and, in some cases, my husband's actions as well). The author suggests reading through once, and then reading again with the intention of doing the activities (which are simple and few). I may actually do this. What I loved most is that the author focused on her research, and interviews, and then accented them with her own issues/actions/addictions. She didn't focus entirely on herself and that made it easier to relate to.
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  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    Wonder if your smart phone is getting in the way of life? The author, an NPR reporter, used her show to guide 20,000 listeners through 7 challenges designed to help them make wiser choices regarding their use of technology. The book provides the science behind our difficulties with technology, experiences of people during the challenges, and great commentary on how people are affected. She is clear that the point isn't to do away with technology but to ensure we are controlling how we use it rat Wonder if your smart phone is getting in the way of life? The author, an NPR reporter, used her show to guide 20,000 listeners through 7 challenges designed to help them make wiser choices regarding their use of technology. The book provides the science behind our difficulties with technology, experiences of people during the challenges, and great commentary on how people are affected. She is clear that the point isn't to do away with technology but to ensure we are controlling how we use it rather than letting it control us. The challenges, simple to try, are included. Excellent guidance for anyone who knows that they are in fact checking FB, reading emails, playing games, or accessing other favorite apps more than they should be!Thanks, Netgalley, for an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    Zomorodi argues that our constant need for simulation and screen time has eaten into our society's creative time. And that being bored isn't something to fear, it is something to embrace as it gives our brains time to explore new solutions and resort the pieces into new shapes. Why I started this book: Saw the title in a library newsletter (maybe Audible's new and exciting) and thought, that looks fascinating.Why I finished it: It's a short audio, but I will be returning to it again. For the rem Zomorodi argues that our constant need for simulation and screen time has eaten into our society's creative time. And that being bored isn't something to fear, it is something to embrace as it gives our brains time to explore new solutions and resort the pieces into new shapes. Why I started this book: Saw the title in a library newsletter (maybe Audible's new and exciting) and thought, that looks fascinating.Why I finished it: It's a short audio, but I will be returning to it again. For the reminders, if nothing else, that it is possible to delete your favorite app, to notice something new around you and to control your screen time instead of having it control you.
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  • Patricia Romero
    January 1, 1970
    Thinking you may be spending way too much time on your Smartphone? I think it's safe to say most of us are!In 2015, the author led 20,000 listeners of her show on NPR, through 7 challenges which she shares with us in this book. They aren't difficult but they are very eye-opening.The book doesn't bash technology, but emphasizes the human aspect of everyday life and the need for mind wandering, daydreaming if you will and the creative and productive results of doing so. It's about balance.Excellen Thinking you may be spending way too much time on your Smartphone? I think it's safe to say most of us are!In 2015, the author led 20,000 listeners of her show on NPR, through 7 challenges which she shares with us in this book. They aren't difficult but they are very eye-opening.The book doesn't bash technology, but emphasizes the human aspect of everyday life and the need for mind wandering, daydreaming if you will and the creative and productive results of doing so. It's about balance.Excellent read and a very good radio show!Netgalley/St. Martin's Press   Release September 05, 2017
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    I really bought this book for my husband, whose incessant screen time has become a source of tension between us. And I bought it because, having grown up with a mother who taught me how to make the most of boredom, I knew I would agree with this writer's main thesis: We need time to do nothing if we want to do anything. The devices are here to stay, but we can be much more deliberate about how and how much we use them. This is a quick, interesting read that might make you want to toss your phone I really bought this book for my husband, whose incessant screen time has become a source of tension between us. And I bought it because, having grown up with a mother who taught me how to make the most of boredom, I knew I would agree with this writer's main thesis: We need time to do nothing if we want to do anything. The devices are here to stay, but we can be much more deliberate about how and how much we use them. This is a quick, interesting read that might make you want to toss your phone into the sea.
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  • Alison
    January 1, 1970
    I am a rabid listener of Note to Self.This book was a great expansion of the Bored and Brilliant series of episodes on Note to Self.I like that Manoush very much writes the way she speaks. It's comforting to recognize the voice that comes to me weekly. Even though I had listened to the series when it aired, it was interesting to delve more deeply into each task and find out why it had been assigned.
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  • Don Gorman
    January 1, 1970
    (1 1/2). This is a really interesting concept, one that I am assured has occurred to many of us, that computers, tablets, phones, technology and screens so occupy us that we are not able to perform intellectually and emotionally at levels we are capable of. The research seems reasonable, but we all know you can spin this information all kinds of ways. I like the thought but I thought the presentation was a little dull and lacking.
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  • Marije
    January 1, 1970
    I definetely liked the book and the science that goes with it. It made me aware of my own digital habits and helped me change them in a way that suits me better.On the other hand, English is not my native language and this book is filled with very long sentences and rather difficult words. That made it hard to get through. I would advise someone in, for example, the Netherlands to read this in Dutch.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    A subject relevant to everyone who uses technology. What is your relationship to technology and how is it changing the way you perceive yourself and relate to the world? The author is not anti-tech, Bored and Brilliant offers a way to become more aware,change/improve our use of technology and quality of our lives.
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  • Terry McIntire
    January 1, 1970
    The book is about the value of escaping from our electronics. Points out we are more creative and our brains function differently without all the screen time. Includes procedures to wean yourself away from some of the devices or apps. "If you spend 25 minutes per day on FB, this will be 2 years of your life". Wonder if on our deathbeds we will wish these 2 years were spent differently?
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  • Jennie Mayfield
    January 1, 1970
    A solid read. If you've listened to the Bored and Brilliant series this might feel kind of repetitive, but it was nice that they included comments from those that completed the challenge. I like the ideas and I'm definitely going to be more conscious of my social media and screen usage.
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  • Tricia Friedman
    January 1, 1970
    Thoroughly engaging--a perfect blend of anecdote, wit and research. Fans of the podcast will not be disappointed--the book reads with the same personable and accessible wisdom. I'm recommending this immediately to friends and family.
  • Ampersand Inc.
    January 1, 1970
    The importance of being bored (which seems terrifying to most) is unearthed in this book; Zomorodi also teaches us how to be bored, which in the age of all access internet, apps and social media, can seem impossible. I learned tons of tips and will go back to this book many times.
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  • Sarah Booth
    January 1, 1970
    A book about turning off your phone and letting your mind wander based on an experiment/challenge that started on a WNYC podcast. Useful info about distraction and how we need to realize where we spend our time and not cheat ourselves out of creative day dreaming.
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  • Meli
    January 1, 1970
    This made me think a lot about my "scrolling" habits. I will try to use my phone and the internet more intentionally. Lots of interesting things to think about.
  • Jaymie Shook
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent. Bringing it to my book club so we can all do the challenges together.
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