Focus: the Age of Distraction

'Our life is frittered away by detail … simplify, simplify.' ~Henry David Thoreau

We live in curious times. It's called the Age of Information, but in another light it can be called the Age of Distraction.

While humanity has never been free of distraction a from swatting those bothersome gnats around the fireplace to dealing with piles of paper mail and ringing telephones a never have the distractions been so voluminous, so overwhelming, so intense, so persistent as they are now. Ringing phones are one thing, but email notifications, Twitter and Facebook messages, an array of browser tabs open, and mobile devices that are always on and always beeping are quite another. More and more, we are connected, we are up to our necks in the stream of information, we are in the crossfire of the battle for our attention, and we are engaged in a harrying blur of multitasking activity.

When we're working, we have distractions coming from every direction. In front of us is the computer, with email notifications and other notifications of all kinds. Then there's the addicting lure of the browser, which contains not only an endless amount of reading material that can be a black hole into which we never escape, but unlimited opportunities for shopping, for chatting with other people, for gossip and news and lurid photos and so much more. All the while, several new emails have come in, waiting for a quick response. Several programs are open at once, each of them with tasks to complete. Several people would like to chat, dividing our attention even further.

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Posted: October 22nd, 2010
at 11:00am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: life,weaponry,et cetera,development,internets

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