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The Power of Off: The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Effective mindfulness practices for transforming your relationship with technology and reconnecting with your real life

Our reliance on technology is rapidly changing how each of us experiences life. We're facing new issues and difficulties, we're encountering new emotional triggers, and we're relating to each other in new ways. As Dr. Nancy Colier writes, "How we spend ou
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Sounds True
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Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up-on
Little redundant. Chapters felt like the "same thing" with different words. ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
For a millennial who chooses to adapt the internet and social media into my life without letting it take over, the best part of the fear-mongering, catastrophizing book is the notes and cited sources at the end.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book provides an interesting look at the dangers of using technology in a thoughtless manner. Rather than confirming technology as the root of all evil, it points out the hidden costs that accrue when technology is used as a substitute for human interaction rather than a supplement.

A lot of the content was not really news to me, especially in the later chapters, but one thing that stood out was the epidemic of people canceling plans at the last minute, often via text. I've had the urge to
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Insightful and specific. A must read for anyone wanting to live a mindful life in this technology soaked world!!
Ann Douglas
A thought-provoking guide to making more mindful choices about the use of technology. Nancy Colier makes the case that we risk losing touch with the parts of ourselves that make us truly human through our indiscriminate use of technology: “There is no way to copy and paste the human heart or the human spirit, and there is no way to download the wisdom a human heart possesses,” she writes.

Her analysis of what's at stake is refreshingly non-alarmist and wise: “Peace, quiet, and downtime are harde
Monte Thomas
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Caety Thomas
Guilty of spending too much time on electronic devices, I felt this book has helped show me how to move forward on achieving a better balance in my life and to be more mindful in doing so.
Allie S.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Life-changing book with super relevant insights for our culture today, and tons of awesome practical tips to reduce technology use and be present so we can truly experience our lives.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the statistics and the examples she shared from her experience as a psychotherapist. I thought this was what the whole book would be like (we have shorter attention spans than we did a few years ago, now shorter than a goldfish; the average smart phone user would rather give up their sense of smell than their phone; posting revealing/personal things on the internet gives the same dopamine rush as drugs; constantly checking your email/social media is constantly trying to access the "lot ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Power of Off presents a compelling case for re-examining our relationship with our devices. It was a well timed read for me, coming during a year of intentional disconnecting from technology as a way to improve my overall mental health and be more present in my life.

In the book, Nancy Colier shines a light on many of the habits we have of using our devices in ways that keep us from being present and mindful in our daily lives. Toward the end she offers some very practical methods for becomin
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fine book, worth reading a chapter at a time for it's nuanced approach. It is in essence a book of individual essays all pointing to examining our use of technology and consider it's ramifications in our lives.

Many of the ramifications are positive, but others, not so much. Solid insights into the ways technology enters into our relationship with ourselves and others.

Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book about an extremely relevant topic. A must read for anybody who owns a smartphone.
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The most important non-fiction book I read in 2016.
All of my students should read it.
You should too.
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Too damn true. Would recommend.
Nathan Albright
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: challenge-2019
It is to be regretted that so many book which urge for mental health come with a New Age spin.  Indeed, it is often difficult for me to understand the appeal of New Age thinking.  What is it about Buddhism, with its obviously ridiculous love of paradoxes and its immense nihilism and in its frankly goofy theology is appealing to people who view themselves as wise and discerning?  Certainly there is nothing in either mainstream Buddhism or its more casual American New Age offshoots that is appeali ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technology
"For the first time in fifty years, researchers are finding a significant decline in creativity among children. The decline is believed to be caused, at least in part, by the drop in play that has accompanied the rise of technology in children's lives."

"In the case of technology, we are turning over our relevant tasks like math and memory to free ourselves to do what?"

"Do we no longer consider it our responsibility to think through things for ourselves?"

"Attention is how we show each other we ma
Leigh Anne
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Skip the essays, go straight for the plan.

Colier is firmly in the "tech is bad" camp, in a very Buddhist way, to the point where I believe this book should be reclassified from HM to BQ. Its current placement implies that it's one kind of book, when it is very clearly another, and is not going to hit its target audience where it is.

As such, this book will have strongest appeal to practicing Buddhists or secular folks who meditate and are looking to cut down on their use of technology, especially
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think most people who want to read a book with this title already know that they want to change their relationship with technology. That was certainly the case with me, so a good chunk of the book was basically preaching to the choir. While I agree with other reviewers that parts of it are repetitive, I still bump it up to a four because of its approachable writing style and practical tips. She gives specific suggestions for questions to ponder or actions to take, such as turning off more noti ...more
Sarah-Mae Adam
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Technology is not going anywhere. I think that is a fair assumption. In fact, it might even be fair to predict that human beings will go somewhere before technology does. But no matter what the future holds, getting free from technology is no longer a real option if we are living in the world and not a cave in a forest. If we want to play in the game of life as it is now, we have to find ways to create a healthy relationship with technology ... we need to find freedom IN technology, not FROM te ...more
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had a rather remarkable experience while reading this book. I had also picked up a novel to read at the same time called Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo and towards the end these books ended up paralleling each other. As the character in the novel experiences an introduction to the practice of meditation, The Power of Off described the intricacies of the practice. This was delightful, unexpected and helpful to me. Not only do I have a new way of viewing my relationship to the technolog ...more
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Here’s another shining example of a book that could have been summarized into a blogpost. There are nuggets of wisdom in here but by the time I’ve reached page 30, it started to feel waaaaay too repetitive.

There are 6 sections to this book:
1) our relationship with technology,
2) our relationship with others,
3) our relationship with ourselves,
4) creating space–inside and out,
5) how to liberate ourselves from a teched-out mind,
6) mindfulness practice for the digital age.

...and under each sec
Mar 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Finished this book pretty quickly. Not because it was a page-turner, but because every chapter seemed to repeat the same diatribe. The author opens by assuring the reader of her technological know-how, then proceeds to tell story after story involving her lack of basic common sense (How do you purchase an entire HOUSE without realizing it's integrated with smart technology?). She also cites a cashier's inability to serve her a non-menu item as a sure sign of the oncoming digital zombie age, skim ...more
Logan Mitchell
Oct 11, 2018 rated it liked it
As someone with extensive meditation experience, this book didn’t do much for me. It was more of a two-star book for me personally, but I gave it three stars because someone new to mindfulness and really struggling with being glued to their phones might really benefit from this book. I was hoping for a much more clinical and less anecdotal book in general. I was really hoping to find more direct suggestions for how to use one’s phone to help their mindfulness practice, but I disappointed that th ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book did exactly what I was hoping it would do. It confirmed my addiction to my phone/apps/email and then gave simple strategies on how to get "unaddicted." Colier's book is well-researched and provided data points surrounding our psychological attachment to our technology. Understanding Why I'm addicted, was just as important as How to fix it.

The first two thirds of the book crack open the problem. It unveils our need to be available, our desire to be liked, accepted and popular. And perha
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
The author discusses today's technology addiction and how society ranging from young to old have become heavily dependent upon technology as a social outlet. "The fact that we never have to be without our devices means that we never are without them and we increasingly mistrust that we can be without them." This book teaches us to lessen our addiction and be more mindful of tech use. She poses the question - how important is that email? How important is that Facebook newsfeed? How will your life ...more
Sarah White
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
It feels strange to be noting that I read a book about online addiction on a social network, but there you go. I feel like this book is more about the need for mindfulness in general and how to go about getting some in the modern world than it is about specifically dealing with compulsive Internet use. The appendix does offer some thoughts on doing a digital detox if that's something you need. ...more
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
DNF. Gave some good tips but did not like how it treated the reader like an addict. I don't see myself as one; I just wanted to learn how to identify why I use technology and disengage when I need to. So what I read gave me a start but I'll be looking elsewhere if I need more help. ...more
Becca Altimier
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a bit of a slow read, but a good one. The chapters are mostly short and quick, making it easy to consume in bite-sized chunks. There's a 30-day detox at the end of the book that's also googleable, for anyone interested in putting the insights into practice. ...more
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
While I did not align with or value everything shared, the author's reflections in the first half of the book definitely helped me rethink my use of technology and see how it has been changing my interaction with others and various aspects of daily life. Challenging.
So I really liked the first half of the book, and the rest all felt like filler, which is why it took me almost two years to actually finish the book (actually, I stopped at 80% and didn’t finish). It had some good content, but not enough for a full book, IMHO.
サラ サラ
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it
It was Okay kind of book.
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“Technology allows us to instantly find the facts that support what we already believe. While in the past we may have subscribed to particular newspapers or magazines that leaned in the direction of our opinions, still, we could not avoid being exposed to a variety of different ideas. The opportunities to come across information we don’t agree with are now diminished. We can easily expose ourselves only to the information that supports our views, stated as facts right there on the Internet. We show up at the table armed with our already decided upon personal truths, and when the information coming at us doesn’t fit what we already know, we stop listening and discard it.” 5 likes
“Technology facilitates the natural human drive to flee from the moment, avoid what’s challenging, and seek pleasure at all costs, none of which create happiness, peace, or well-being in the end.” 1 likes
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