If a fruit fly and a goldfish made love and had a baby, my attention span would be the result of that interspecies relationship.
...Or maybe, as scientists have been saying, I have the attention span of a human in 2016. It's no secret that once technology came into the picture, as a species, we've become less equipped with performing a task that involves prolonged interest. A ding or buzz of our phones now interrupts almost any situation we may be in.
Work. (definitely work)
Hell, it can even interrupt sex!
Sometimes we dismiss the lack of concentration and default to the popular belief that we are becoming completely self-absorbed by our phones. But why is this occurring in the first place?
We’re living in an era of information overload. Think about this: the entire world is sitting right beside you, encapsulated into a 5-inch handheld device that goes wherever you do. No wonder we’re so distracted–can you imagine that kind of information just sitting there? Back 50 years, it was SO MUCH harder to access information. You suddenly want to know the average circumference of a human head? Looks like you have to drive to the library and open up a handy-dandy encyclopedia. But now? Now we Google.
And it’s amazing. It is simply mind-blowing. And in that moment when we realized just how mind-blowing this technology was, much of our attention span blew up with it!
Still, that’s not an excuse. That’s only a repercussion of this new way of life. I think we’re just having a hard time playing catch-up. We’re all taught to prioritize. Our fellow humans expect us to prioritize situations but we’re still using the blueprints from 50 years ago–and that’s the problem. I love to prioritize. I love making lists and dividing my workload into categories–but it doesn’t seem to work when I’m forgetting to incorporate my distractions into the equation. What does that mean? Instead of feeling guilty and beating ourselves up for getting distracted, why don’t we validate that distraction and find it’s root cause?
I think we’ll be (surprised?) to recognize that all of this distraction boils down to monotony; the feeling that tomorrow will be unsettling similar to today. We turn to technology to assuage the boredom and spend our energy on maintaining a level of boredom we can live with rather than treating the issue.
Woah, Negative Nancy alert!
But there’s hope. There’s always hope. What can we do? We find the thing that captivates us and we plunge into it head first!