Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Word on Short "Tention Spans"

Today, Americans more so than ever, have very short attention spans. This isn't a breakthrough observation or rocket science, it is fact. Many columnists, scientists and funny articles on Thought Catalog have touched upon this short attention span and instant gratification epidemic we face today. We want it but we want it RIGHT NOW and it better only take A FEW MINUTES because that is all WE HAVE.

Think about it. How many times have you been bothered by having to wait in line for let's say Starbucks coffee. Despite the fact most baristas try really hard to get your order right, learn your name, write it on a cup and give you more than just a "how are you, ok" you still get agitated that you have to wait in a long line for your deliciously overpriced coffee. You have a bus to catch, a meeting to go to, an errand to run, a friend to meet, a test to take..you're always going going going.

The news, you want to know what is happening and NOW but you only want to read the first paragraph because then your eyes are drawn to the photo and WAIT THERE IS A RELATED LINK ABOUT PUPPIES!

In today's digital age, our attention spans are shrinking. With the world at our fingertips we want to catch every status update, tweet, sale, next big thing, album leak, breaking news, and celebrity gossip piece the second it happens. Our minds quickly absorb the kiddie pool depth of information before moving on to the next stimulating thing. This is troublesome because this tendency can migrate to other facets of your life such as your relationships, your job, your family life, your school...etc. You want everything instantaneously when normal things take time to develop.

That and the fact that social media and smart phones have made us more socially awkward. You might share your life with the world though every photo, tag, tweet, update...but when it comes to actually making a phone call, this generation growing up with this technology is going to have trouble. Hell, they are already IN trouble. I think I might be in trouble and I remember when I used the Internet to play games on Nick.com and my mom needed to use the phone so I had to sign off because we had dial up.

But its a troubling thought when relationships begin and sometimes even end with TEXT MESSAGES. When emoticons substitute for real emotions and people regress into an anti-social, digitally personal age. I don't like being caught on the subway without my iPod because God forbid I might have to actually have a conversation with a STRANGER (but we all know when stranger convos happen to me they are usually strange).

The point is we need to practice a healthy tech cleanse. We need to unplug once and awhile and enjoy each other's literal company. We need to play outside without taking a selfie and putting it on Instagram and then valuing our self worth on how many likes we get. (I swear I don't do that).

So get out there and unplug or make a phone call to that friend for their birthday! I'm going to go check my Facebook now...

Until next time.....

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