Summary of I Used to Be a Human Being

An endless bombardment of news and gossip and images has rendered us manic information addicts. It broke me. It might break you, too.

New York Magazine,

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I Used to Be a Human Being summary
Stop. Turn off your phone and computer. Sit still for an hour. Not possible? You should read this article.


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When you see the headline of yet another article on information overload and the hyperconnected digital age, your immediate impulse may be to skim, scroll down and click on to the next thing. But getAbstract recommends you scroll back, print this article and read it offline. In this deeply personal article, Andrew Sullivan goes beyond the tut-tutting and hand-wringing. He explores the origins of people’s need for information; explains how people find ways to escape the onslaught of gossip, memes, points and counterpoints; and narrates what happened when he surrendered his smartphone.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why you can easily become addicted to your devices
  • How the frenetic pace of the information age can cause harm
  • How people find relief from information overload


As a blogging pioneer, author Andrew Sullivan was among the first of a crowd that voraciously devours news to spew out an endless stream of posts. Sullivan constantly updated his blog, creating his stories in real time as the information was coming in. But this virtual living took a toll on his health...
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About the Author

Andrew Sullivan is a political commentator and a former editor of The New Republic.

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