Blog Post

Another take on "Growing up Digital." Distinguishing between Distraction and Mental Wandering

Admit it. This picture's just the teensiest bit creepy.

It accompanies John Tierney's "When the Mind Wanders, Happiness Also Strays,"  a NYT article reviewing research by Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert published last week in Science magazine. The image is, in other words, twice removed from the original research, which involves using an iPhone app to collect data on the relationship between attentiveness and happiness. In context, you might say the image itself is a distraction from Tierney's article, unless it was the image itself which drew you to pause over the article, in which case you might say the image of the guy with the oversized brain-compass and the radial exit lines is a hook, a pointer, an exit sign designed to pull your mind off the freeway to rest for awhile.

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