Best-selling Author Nir Eyal Reviewed my Book on Smartphone Addiction
Getting a positive review from one of my heroes in writing about tech addiction
Nir Eyal is the best-selling author of books such as Hooked and Indistractible, about the addictive design of digital tech. And he reviewed my latest book about the impact of digital tech, titled Life Beyond the Touch Screen. How I got in touch with Nir, what he said and what it means for an indie author.
This article was originally posted at www.medium.com/lifebeyond/
I have to admit, I was a little cynical and a little sceptical at first.
Out of nowhere, Nir Eyal, best-selling author and one of my honest-to-god heroes when it comes to writing and thinking about addictive technology, messaged me privately on Twitter.
Something along the lines of: ‘Hey Erwin, thanks for your engagement on some of my recent tweets.’ – Had I engaged on some of his recent tweets? I wasn’t even sure.
And then something like: ‘I’d like to get your honest opinion on my latest book, Indistractable – it’s out now. Your review could probably help creating and growing the buzz around it. […]The book is available here and at that one big book retailer…’ and so on.
My first thought? This has got to be an automated message, like something from a Twitter bot. I’ll admit, I’ve become a little jaded over the years.
Getting in touch with those higher up
You see, I have tried to get in touch with probably more than a few hundred people I looked up to in the past. People who were a little higher up on the socio-economic ladder, if you will, and who might be able to shine a little light on me and my own ventures, to help me get a little closer to where they were.
Never has anyone of this kind of stature ever replied, let alone initiated a conversation with me of their own accord.
So of course I wrote back something along the lines of:
‘Hey Nir, so cool to hear from you in this way. And of course I would love to read and review your latest book. […]
But would you maybe like to check out my latest book as well? Your review would mean a lot more for my book than mine would for you. I would love to send you a digital copy, and would be happy to receive if nothing more than just your notes.’
Kind of tongue-in-cheek, more than halfway assuming actual Nir Eyal was never gonna read my message.
Until he did. And then gave me his email adress. And then actually, really reviewed my book and gave me a quotable reaction. Bye-bye cynicism and hello believing in the good of humanity.
A lesson in grace and humility
Side note: I had always told myself that if one day, I were to find myself in a place where I could help a younger, or less experienced person up the ladder a few steps, I certainly would.
Nir’s small, subtle and humble example has most certainly strengthed my resolve to keep paying it forward, even if I one day don’t feel like I still need to.
The joy of a simple little quotable blurb
My new book “Life Beyond the Touch Screen” is out now, you can get it here as an e-book or paperback. It’s a meditational booklet designed to increase our consciousness around the impact of digital technology on our lives as individuals, in organizations and society. A conversation starter. A reminder to choose.
The writing of this book changed my life. I hope that to a smaller or maybe larger extent, it might change something in the lives of its readers, as well.
And what did Nir say about it, upon review?
‘Really enjoyed it! Lima has written a beautiful meditation on how we can slow down and get more out of every minute, with or without our devices.’
-Nir Eyal, bestselling author of Hooked and Indistractable
How cool is that gonna look on the redesigned back cover?
I think you can hardly imagine what this review means to me. Nir Eyal, together with people like Tristan Harris, Tim Wu and Cal Newport, is one of my main inspirations for writing this latest book in the first place.
Nir’s writing – which I have consumed through his books, articles, interviews and many articles that reference him – has had a profound impact on my knowledge and thinking about digital technology and its addictive design.
We can all pay it forward
This is a prime example of how a relatively small investment of time and words can mean so much to a person you don’t even know.
Let’s all take out a lesson here.
Regardless if my indie meditational book turns out to be a best-seller as well (Oh, sure it will!) – having gotten this review already gives me a great feeling of accomplishment. A feeling that my thinking is on the right track, my writing carries weight and my efforts are useful.
I promise I will do my utmost to return the favor, Nir, if you’re reading this. And maybe more importantly: I vow to keep trying to pay it forward.