July 5, 2014

This is a shocker

There's really a shock in this story from NPR titled "Surrounded by Digital Distractions, We Can't Even Stop to Think"—

Stripped of their books, cellphones and other distractions, many, including a majority of men, preferred to instead pass the time by reaching for the sole form of electronic entertainment in the room: a 9-volt battery administering a "severe static shock" when touched...."No one had looked at mind wandering as an end in and of itself," Wilson says.

But as it turns out, we're easily distracted from that too, plagued by a natural impulse to seek out the physical "engagement" wherever we might find it — even if it zaps us.

The report contains this confirmation of the value of walking—

The journey to "my happy place," as Wilson puts it, or a state of enjoyable, wandering thought, usually occurs during activities involving low-level engagement, like when we drive or take a stroll.