Sat, May 18, 2013 - Page 9 News List

Taking control of the Internet

Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube ... we know the Internet is driving us to distraction, but could sitting at your computer actually calm you down?

By Oliver Burkeman  /  The Guardian, LONDON

To recover from techno-distraction, “what’s required is not Luddite extremism, but a more ambitious relationship to our tools — one that promotes our liberty instead of weakening it,” he writes.

What we need are ways of strengthening the muscle that lets you maintain control of your own attention, so that you can more frequently win the psychological arm-wrestle against the services and sites that are itching to control it for you.

You could begin by going to the Web site donothingfor2minutes.com and following the instructions, which are: a) to do nothing for two minutes, except b) to listen to the relaxing sound of waves. Move your mouse, or a press a key, and the word “fail” will appear in big red letters. If the very idea of visiting donothingfor2minutes.com strikes you as stupid or annoying — a tedious waste of time when you could be doing something more stimulating instead — then here is a slightly different piece of advice: you really, really need to visit.

Slow web sites:

Mac Freedom: macfreedom.com

Flux: stereopsis.com/flux

Buddhify: buddhify.com

Calm Your Box: calmbox.me

OmmWriter: ommwriter.com

HeartMath: heartmath.com

Shroud: sabi.net/nriley/software/

ReWire: rewireapp.com

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