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Josh Misner, PhD

Mindful Living in a Distracted World

The Greatest Picture I Never Took

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On the eve before my youngest son’s first day of second grade at a new school, I spent the better part of an hour cuddled up next to him before bed, listening to him as he discussed his fears and worries with me, including everything from getting lost, to having a mean teacher, to dealing with playground bullies and worrying about whether the kids at the new school would accept him or not. Continue reading “The Greatest Picture I Never Took”

Put the F**king Phone Down: Life. Can’t. Wait.

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Most of us can barely muster a fleeting moment of calm before yet another notification buzz demands our attention. As a result, Americans currently spend an average of nearly 7 hours a day glued to their tiny screens, or the equivalent of an unpaid full-time job. This lack of control over attention produces disastrous effects on mental health, such as increased risk of stress, depression, and anxiety, while the impact on our relationships can be catastrophic. Continue reading “Put the F**king Phone Down: Life. Can’t. Wait.”

The Myth of Time as a Currency

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Frequently, I think about word choice when it comes to describing certain phenomena and how that word choice reveals how we view or feel about those things. Time is an interesting example. Think about the verbs we use to describe how we interact with time: saving, spending, wasting, etc. If we take a step back, we realize how often we view time as a commodity, like money or material wealth.

But it isn’t. Not even close. Continue reading “The Myth of Time as a Currency”

Exactly How Distracted Are We? Understanding the Scope of the Age of Distraction

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Ten years ago, a new word was added to our vocabulary: Nomophobia, or the fear of being without one’s phone.

The term was coined as a result of a British study in 2008, which found that slightly more than half the UK population exhibited signs of this fear. For several years, this term was tossed around as a joke. Most people, myself included, rolled their eyes when they heard it, filing it away in their minds with other irrational fears, like coulrophobia, the fear of clowns. Continue reading “Exactly How Distracted Are We? Understanding the Scope of the Age of Distraction”

My (first) TEDx Experience

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Allow me to start this reflection with some context.

I’ve been teaching communication, which includes as my bread and butter, intro to public speaking, better known as the dreaded college speech class, for the better part of 11 years.

Prior to that, I was a budding communication major who enjoyed the challenge of public speaking, but about 16 years ago, I walked into a speech class for the first time full of dread. I tried everything I could to get out of that class. Can I test out of it? “No.” Can I substitute it for a writing class? “No.” You get the idea. Continue reading “My (first) TEDx Experience”

Everything I Know About Forgiveness, I Learned From My Dog

Allow me to begin this story by emphatically declaring that I am much more of a cat person than a dog person. I’ve always identified with the following quote from Robert De Niro’s character in Meet the Parents:

You see, Greg, when you yell at a dog, his tail will go between his legs and cover his genitals, his ears will go down. A dog is very easy to break, but cats make you work for their affection. They don’t sell out the way dogs do.

I genuinely admire the way I have to earn a cat’s love and affection. In fact, I have a cat at this moment who did not warm up to me for at least a few years, but once I earned her trust slowly and methodically, I became her best friend (until I rub her belly, and then all bets are off). Continue reading “Everything I Know About Forgiveness, I Learned From My Dog”

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