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Now Taught in Class: Alex Samuel's Advice on Tuning Out Online Distraction
Social Media | September 06, 2012

Now Taught in Class: Alex Samuel's Advice on Tuning Out Online Distraction

As lit screens continue to bombard us with a never-ending stream of information, social media speaker and occasional Atlantic blogger Alexandra Samuel says it's okay—sometimes—to unplug yourself from these “distractions.” A Singapore teacher named Jeffrey Plaman agrees, and is now teaching her advice to his students.

As we learned recently, the teacher is using Samuel's Atlantic article “Plug in Better: A Manifesto,”  to give his students lessons on how to balance their increasing use of technology. Samuel—whose TEDx talk, “Online is Real Life, Too” went viral earlier this year— says in the article that unplugging doesn't mean you have to “tune out” the online world entirely. Instead, you need to understand the “sources of discomfort” that come from online interaction and find a “way to switch them off.”

Here's the advice she gives to the corporations, non-profits, and educational groups she speaks to: “Find those qualities of presence, focus, and even solitude in your networked existence,” she says, “call it the new unplugging: a way to step back from the rush and din of the Internet, and approach our time online with the same kind of intention and integrity we bring to our best offline interactions.”

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