This book is inspiring for anyone who wants to remember—or learn—what it feels like to be a whole person. Read it and share it.” —Sarah Selecky
“What happens when technology moves beyond lifting genuine burdens and starts freeing us from burdens that we should not want to be rid of?” asks philosopher Albert Borgmann in his 1984 book, Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life. “If we believe that we, as humans, were created for relationship and meaningful work, work that provides for families and serves neighbours, work that engages our bodies and creative faculties, then it follows that we would value a certain kind of burden,” he explains.
He called them good burdens, commitments that tether us to people and the physical world. Like the burden of preparing a meal and getting everyone to show up at the table, or the burden of reading poetry to someone you love or going for a family walk after dinner, or the burden of letter-writing—gathering our thoughts, setting them down in a way that will be remembered and cherished and perhaps passed on to our grandchildren.
Albert points out that these types of activities have been obliterated by the readily available entertainment offered by every screen in the twenty-first-century world.
Stepping out of your algorithm is essential to moving out of a set position and into relationship. Mary Clark Moschella, Roger J. Squire Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at the Yale Divinity School, once told me: “The joy of being in relationship is that we step outside of ourselves.”
It is that act of stepping outside of ourselves that often gets us unstuck; how do we move outside of a space we’ve inhabited for so long?
Stepping out of your algorithm is essential to moving out of a set position and into relationship."
Reclaiming Effortful Living as the Path to Joy
Good Burdens is a reclamation of effortful living as your path to well-being.
In its pages, I’ll challenge you to channel your energies online and off toward good burdens: caring relationships, community, and creative projects that bring you joy. Using historical data, real-life stories from leading mindful tech leaders, and a rich personal narrative, I’ll make the case for increasing the intentionality in your day-to-day life, while offering concrete solutions for flourishing in the digital age.
Good Burdens will not teach you how to break up with your phone or pawn off cheap life hacks to prove you can get more things done. Instead, you’re going to learn how to stop living life on autopilot and start living a life so wild and good, so brimming with joy, that your screens dim in comparison.
I am going to teach you how to take up good burdens—commitments to people and creative work that shape the beating breathing world—because “genuine love, with all the discipline it requires, is the only path in this life to substantial joy.”
A life of passive consumption is not what you were made for.
You were made for more. You were made to love.
It is worth the effort.
From the book Good Burdens, by Christina Crook. Published in 2021 by Nimbus Publishing. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.
A life of passive consumption is not what you were made for."
From the "Marie Kondo of Digital" comes a thoughtful book about realigning our energies, increasing intentionality, and prioritizing our well-being in the digital age.
It's time we choose joy over fear. Empowerment over anxiety. JOMO over FOMO. How do we get there? By taking up good burdens.
The things we're most proud of in life—the child we're raising; the marathon we completed; the major project we hit out of the park—these required all of us: all of our attention, all of our loves, all of our effort. Could we control the outcome? No. Were we all in? Hell, yes. These effortful pursuits are what digital well being pioneer Christina Crook calls "good burdens."
In thoughtful prose, Christina Crook's insightful follow up to the acclaimed The Joy of Missing Out makes the case for increasing intentionality in our day to day lives, unlocking the building blocks of joy, and offering concrete solutions for flourishing in the digital age. Using historical data, real life stories from leading mindful tech leaders and rich personal narrative, Good Burdens advocates for a realignment of our energies, online and off, towards effortful pursuits - cultivating relationships, community, and creative projects that bring lasting joy.
In Good Burdens, Crook will instruct us on:
- Mastering the Algebra of Joy — how to fill our lives with the warm relationships and right works that bring us more joy
- How to live more fulfilling lives in a world dominated by screen time
- Be our full selves on and offline
- Make the time off our screens as meaningful as possible
- Feel good about the time we spend with ourselves and loved ones
- Counteract online fatigue by prioritizing focal practices like walking, gardening, or other hobbies
- How to build life-giving habits that support our ongoing well-being and success
Good Burdens will provide practical, research-based solutions to help readers begin to reclaim joy, unplugging from toxic influences, and retake decision-making power over their time and emotional energy. It is intended to be a poetic and affirming guide to taking real steps towards joy.