The modern world is endlessly insisting that we must always be “doing” something—in a culture of speed and hustle, sitting still can feel like an act of resistance. But in her funny, subversive manifesto, Jenny Odell explores this subject through the lens of a highly connected tech worker in beautiful, near-silent Santa Cruz and shows us how to use our time off from digital devices (or even on them) to reflect on our experience.
In her new book, Jenny Odell argues for doing nothing – an idea that may seem radical in our busy, productivity-obsessed culture. She uses a striking image to illustrate the point: “there is a lot of nothingness in this image,” she writes of the above, “but there is so much more nothing in our lives than there are selfies taken, likes earned and comments, posted”.
Leading us through a radical, hopeful, and provocative manifesto for how to disconnect in today’s hyperconnected society, Jenny Odell is at once an engaging memoirist and an analytical critic. She offers a guide to how technology separates us from ourselves and each other—and then explains why we should do everything we can to combat this effect.
With a mixture of self-help, personal narrative, and endearingly snarky humor, Odell turns the idea that being constantly available is the only way to succeed. In the vein of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, this book is part self-help manual, part personal narrative into the changing ways we interact with technology and each other in our daily lives.
About How to Do Nothing Book
When the technologies we use every day collapse our experiences into 24/7 availability, platforms for personal branding, and monetizing products, nothing can be so radical as… doing nothing. Here, Jenny Odell sends up a flare from the heart of Silicon Valley, delivering an action plan to resist capitalist narratives of productivity and techno-determinism and to become more meaningfully connected in the process.
Dive into the world of meditation and mindfulness with this collection of essays and propels readers on a journey through the history of techniques and practices in order to gain a deeper appreciation for the wide range of benefits that this ancient art can bring.