Rewired – A Review

[amazon asin=0984904107&title=Rewired&template=thumbnail] I received copy of Rewired: How to Work Smarter, Live Better, and Be Purposefully Productive in an Overwired World for review. Even though my background is in technology, and I love technology, I have found it, at times, intrusive. I’ve also wondered if my connection to technology has, in some ways, affected my ability to concentrate, and, as odd as it sounds, be productive.

Dr. Camille Preston is a psychologist, organizational consultant, and leadership coach. In Rewired, she suggests that many people are not just wired, but they are overwired. Being overwired causes us to feel stressed, burned out, and as if we are always “on” 24/7.

Dr. Preston makes a strong case that it is time to step back and unwire so we can rewire and be “purposely productive.” The problem, she writes, of being overwired is, “the inability to do one thing, properly, at a time.” I agree with her assessment. The distraction that technology provides harms the ability to focus and think deeply. As I read the book, I realized there are times when I check my email, phone, etc. even after I checked a few moments earlier. I find myself turning to my technology as a way to be distracted, not realizing it hurts my ability to be focused.

The book is broken into four main parts: Overwired, Unwiring, Rewiring for Wellness, and Success! Overwired gives evidence of the effects of technology to our productivity, relationships, and our brains and bodies. Preston gives steps in part two, Unwiring, on how we can unwire our tangled technological lives. In part three, she discusses how we can be purposeful with technology and use it as a tool to actually make our lives better. Part four of the book, Success, contains accounts of those who have successfully unwired and rewired their lives and the changes they’ve experienced.

Preston was successful in making her case that technology, while promising to make our lives better, has caused some harm. Her prescription is also strong. It was evident that her experience as an organizational consultant and  leadership coach helped her not only see the issues involved with being overwired, but also gave her the insight to see how to become “rewired” or, in other words, allowing technology to make us purposely productive.

I appreciated the “Takeaways” after each section because they highlighted the important information. As I read the book, I recognized elements of strong presentations. She let the reader know what was going to be covered, covered it, and then reminded the reader what was covered. This, I believe, was extremely helpful.

On a more negative note, so much repetition made the book seem smaller than its 88 pages. While the material in the book was strong, I wanted more, especially in the first part  of the book. She did quote some studies and research, but I felt there could have been much more in regards to what technology does to our brains, bodies, and relationships. It seemed that she interviewed a couple of experts and they become her main “go to” researches. I found I wanted more.

That being said, the book is extremely valuable, especially for those of us who find ourselves fixated and focused on technical tools so much that they cease to be tools, and become toxic. Preston not only gives hope, but help in getting our lives rewired and back on track to purposeful productivity and a more meaningful life.

Is it Time to Switch from Google?

This is from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) concerning the new Google privacy policy:

On March 1st, Google will implement its new, unified privacy policy, which will affect data Google has collected on you prior to March 1st as well as data it collects on you in the future. Until now, your Google Web History (your Google searches and sites visited) was cordoned off from Google’s other products. This protection was especially important because search data can reveal particularly sensitive information about you, including facts about your location, interests, age, sexual orientation, religion, health concerns, and more. If you want to keep Google from combining your Web History with the data they have gathered about you in their other products, such as YouTube or Google Plus, you may want to remove all items from your Web History and stop your Web History from being recorded in the future.

via How to Remove Your Google Search History Before Google’s New Privacy Policy Takes Effect | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Let me say at the outset that I love Google. I use quite a few Google products. However, this news, well, seems a bit creepy to me. I’ve had web history turned on since 2005 and I found that I’ve had a lot of searches. Sometimes it was even nice to go back through “memory lane” and see what I searched for and when.

There wasn’t anything I wanted to hide in my search history, but this article from EFF did cause me to pause. Then I went and deleted almost seven years of search history. I was a bit sad to do it. Yet, I didn’t want my search history connected to my YouTube account, and my Picaso account, etc., etc., etc.

I don’t know that Google will do anything wrong with the data, it’s just that it seemed…a bit…creepy. To realize that at some point all the dots of data could be connected to create a type of “profile” of who I was, what I liked, etc., just made me feel uneasy.

Started to make me wonder if I should switch from my current search engine, to something different.

Rob Bell on IPhone, IPad, and Android

Not sure how I missed this, but Nooma, the video series by Rob Bell, is an app for both IPhone devices and Android devices. After downloading the app you can download the first video in the series, Rain, for free. The others will cost you $2.99, but the app itself is free.

Now Rob can go with you where ever you go! You can find the Nooma app in the Android Market, or Itunes.

Christian publishing company Zondervan has developed an app for NOOMA, a series of short films featuring the author of Love Wins, Rob Bell, for mobile users of Apple’s iOS and Android platforms.

via The Nooma App.

AT&T To Increase Handset Upgrade

At&T is set to increase their fees for upgrading phones. I guess I don’t understand why any carrier would “give away” phones for “free” yet charge for an upgrade fee. Actually I do understand why. We want “free” phones. This is a way that AT&T and give customers what they want, while still charging something.

Just gives me more reason to stay on my current GoPhone plan. Yes, I have to buy my phones outright, but at least I know what I’m paying upfront without any of these “upgrade” fees. See article after the break.

Continue reading “AT&T To Increase Handset Upgrade”

What if Someone Stole your Phone?

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If you have a smartphone, then you should probably be thinking about how to secure it…just in case you lose it, or it gets stolen. MakeUseOf discusses this, plus gives some advice on how to secure your phone. Use the link to read the full article:

 

As the processing power of mobile phones continues to increase, so their use as a de facto communications and storage device gains more and more users. The end result is a society of connected individuals carrying around expensive hardware holding all of their most important data from contacts to document, music to movies and photos and games.

via What Everybody Ought to Know About Securing Their Mobile Phone.