Originally I had planned on titling this article ‘Give me your attention, please’, but in deference to our sound-byte society, I decided to shorten it to match the topic.
As our lives become busier, our attention spans appear to be shrinking. Texting, Twitter, even email, are all short forms of communication. How many of you will actually never read this entire post because you became distracted?
Raise your hand if you’ve ever sent an email to people with several questions in the text, but only received the answer to one in the response? Granted, I’ve been guilty of this a time or two if I’m interrupted by the phone, the doorbell, instant messenger, or someone stopping by my desk; but for me it’s pretty rare. However, I’ve had people not respond to all my inquiries often enough that I’ve decided it’s necessary to number them or place them in bullet points to ensure a more complete response. Sometimes you still only receive a response to one item. (You can put your hand down, now.)
On the February 9, 2011 edition of The Today Show, Matt Lauer announced that his guest, Michelle Obama, would be on for a full half hour interview. This supposed 30 minute discussion started just after the weather report at 7:30 am and he announced the conclusion at 7:46 am. By my calculation, that’s only about half of a half-hour. It appears that even these types of programs, who thrive on 3-5 minute stories, are manipulating time – 15 must be the new 30!?
Are issues such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) diagnosed more often because it’s become a recognizable condition, or is it more prevalent because everyone’s attention span is shrinking to cram in the massive amounts of information we are required to process.
As much as I’d love to delve further into this topic, I just realized there are three other things I’m supposed to be doing right now, not to mention my home phone just started ringing, my cell phone is beeping with new texts, and a little box in the corner of the screen announced that I have new mail. GTG…..CUL8R….TTFN….