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Digital Detox The Joy of Missing Out helps readers find balance in a wired world REVIEW BY GISELLE RANDALL


o you check your smartphone compulsively? Have you ever looked something up on the Internet, only to find yourself on a different web page 20 minutes later, sucked into a vortex of infinite information? This happens to me more often than I care to admit, so I was eager to read The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World by Christina Crook. In 2012, Crook disabled the data on her smartphone, turned off her e-mail and said goodbye to the Internet for 31 days. She chronicled her

fast from technology by writing a letter to a friend every day, who then posted it on a blog—a project that became

the foundation for this book. Her aim isn’t to reject technology, but to raise questions that can help us take a mindful approach. The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 explores global shifts in how we communicate, and outlines the good and bad about the Internet. Although it has unleashed the power of collaboration, the Internet also has the potential to reshape not just what we do, but who we are—the way we see the world, the way we spend our time and especially the way we relate to others. Crook argues that we have embraced technological progress without stopping to consider the consequences, so Part 2 emphasizes the value of taking a break from the digital world to evaluate our priorities. Part 3 explores how to set limits that will put people before technology. The Joy of Missing Out

raises profound theological questions about the impact of technology on our lives. What purpose is it serving? Is it connecting you in ways that enrich your life and the lives of others? Do you act more because of what you learn online? What future are we choosing through our daily actions—are we merely consuming or are we reflecting the creativity of God? Throughout the book, Crook provides chaptersp e c i f ic ch a l lenge s to help readers reflect on the material and apply it to their own lives. She also offer practical suggestions for how to go about a digital detox. “When we deprive ourselves of our digital technologies with the intention of making room for quiet reflection and stillness, we help develop selfdiscipline and fortitude,” she writes, “fostering a greater openness to God or whatever is sacred.”

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Salvationist - September 2015  
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