Editor's letter. Issue 14, September 2013. “The snake in our digital garden of Eden has been hyper-connectivity with technology” Arianna Huffington
No mobile phone, no email, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Google this weekend. How does that make you feel? Are you instantly coming up with excuses as to why it would be a great idea in theory, but actually I need to check this and I couldn’t relax without knowing that? Me too. I find it an amusing irony that we now have to be given permission to turn off our digital devices and go on an official digital detox retreat before we can switch off guilt-free.
Many people are beginning to question the pressurised world we have created for ourselves. At the end of July Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, chaired their first women’s conference, ‘The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power’.* As Arianna says, “It’s time for a third metric – one founded on wellbeing, wisdom, our ability to wonder, and to give back. The motivation for these events is that it has become increasingly clear that the current model, in which success is equated with overwork, burnout, sleep deprivation, never seeing your family, being connected through email 24 hours a day and exhaustion, isn’t working. It’s not working for women. It’s not working for men. It’s not working for companies, for any societies in which it’s dominant or for the planet… It’s no longer sustainable for human beings or for societies. To live the lives we want, and not just the ones we settle for, the ones society defines as successful, we need to include the third metric.”
One of the panellists was Mark Williams, whose book Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World claims that “more happiness and joy are attainable with even tiny changes to the way you live your life”. Another interesting book, Get Some Headspace by Andy Puddicombe, demystifies mindfulness through his accessible writing and presenting style and the website he co-founded, Headspace.
So take some time out this weekend, disconnect if you feel the need to, find a comfortable place to relax and lose yourself in the magazine, and when you do connect again make sure it’s at your own pace.
Jane Toft, Editor-in-chief
* Listen to Arianna Huffington’s inspirational Smith College commencement speech about The Third Metric.