A Not-So-Radical Proposal for Your Lenten Season: Do Nothing | Jake Braithwaite, SJ
And so I’ve been very interested in a new book by Jenny Odell called How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. She describes a world where “every last minute” ends up “captured, optimized, or appropriated as a financial resource by the technologies we use daily.” But in the midst of push notifications and likes and friend requests, a “certain nervous feeling, of being overstimulated and unable to sustain a train of thought, lingers.”
Sounds like a book I should read. Adding it to my “books-to-read” list.
I didn’t solve everything in my strolling, but I started to notice some patterns. I was finally able to hear God’s voice because the noise was turned down. I couldn’t block it out with the distractions–parties and drinking and social media and to-do lists and podcasts and music and movies and shows and idle fretting about work—that were my preferred methods. Instead, I just had to be present to exactly what I was feeling at each moment. If I was sad, I just had to be sad for a bit. If I was excited, I just got to experience it rather than try to share it on an online profile. If I was worried, I lived through the worry instead of numbing it.
I experienced something similar when I started practicing digital minimalism. I even wrote it down in my journal. Without distractions, it was like all of a sudden I had all this time to think, to be present, to live in the moment, to hear God.