Summary of The Distraction Addiction

Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul

Little, Brown, more...

Buy the book

The Distraction Addiction book summary
Avoid the “monkey mind”: A provocative discussion of using technology to enrich, rather than diminish, your life.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


Buddhists use the phrase “monkey mind” to describe a person’s easily distracted consciousness. Information technology – a phrase that futurist, consultant and professor Alex Soojung-Kim Pang uses to encompass computers, mobile devices, and the cornucopia of data and entertainment that the web offers – makes it difficult for you to focus. Pang addresses pressing concerns for individuals and societies regarding technology, warning that the Internet can recede into the background, to become the water in which you swim, even as it shapes human interaction. Instead, he says, remain mindful of how you use technology; choose what you want to do without letting its demands dominate you. Pang explains how to adopt a contemplative attitude while utilizing technology, and offers reasons and permission to simply turn it off. getAbstract recommends this exploration to thoughtful readers who use basic computing technology and to those long since immersed in the data ocean.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How technology fragments human attention,
  • Why Buddhists believe that the solution to distraction is disciplining the mind and
  • How a contemplative approach to computing can enhance life.


Technology encourages distractions that fragment human attention. “Americans spend an average of 60 hours a month online or 720 hours a year.” That is three months of workdays, “90 eight-hour days per year.” People spend 20 days social networking, 32 days on email and 38...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Author

Consultant Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, a futurist at Strategic Business Insights, is a visiting scholar at Stanford University and Oxford’s Saïd Business School.

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    Tatiana Martinez 3 years ago
    I think many of us are guilty of switch-tasking when we believe we are multi-tasking. Great summary!

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category