Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fragmented Attention and Distraction Addiction,Boundaries & Personal growth. Response to Marcus


What an absolutely on target, fully conscious article.
Thank you for making these points and for doing it with such clarity and in a meaningful frame of reference. Your article has sent me on a journey of thoughts of assessment for the fragmented attention process. I could have shared about 95% of points and thoughts in your article at one time or another in the past few years and increasingly so in the past two years.. What a true reminder you have given of the need to set our own boundaries.

I have been thinking along those personal boundary setting lines and how to make it happen in the way I need consistently. At this point in our distraction addiction, for many of us it could be a challenge to actually identify and define the inconsequential and the meaningful on a moment to moment basis.

It feels as if our actions can become a purposeless driven life! I find myself responding to silly or mildly novel and ultimately useless material just because it appears in front of my face at the click of a mouse. My delayed response after realizing what I am doing, yet again, is SCREAM!

On reading, and rereading, your article I am reminded of how years ago in graduate school we were told by the geek gurus how technology would enrich our lives. It was predicted that we would come to have much more free time for personal growth. I can still remember the informal debates about this in the early 70's with fellow graduate students . I admit to being quite skeptical at that point. Remember, I was the book person and I honestly could not see the need for computers at all. To me it all sounded a bit like magical thinking, I find magical thinking entertaining but rarely effective in problem solving or time management.

We all fantasized that the technology explosion....we were clueless about what that really would mean then.... would allow us all more time for creativity, self-expression and emotional/social connection.
We saw it as freeing us from the mundane and some of the daily grind. We believed it would mean more personal time for us! What we did not know or anticipate was what this increased technological support/structure/option would do to the quality of these creative and expressive aspects of our lives. I have come to believe that there really is a ultimate level for best focus and concentration and adding more input that beyond that perk point means quality is sacrificed for quantity or worse, meaningless repetition.

Have you noticed? Everything is becoming a short cut.To what end I am asking myself daily. Send a IM and it is no longer I love you but I Heart U. Laugh out loud is a simulated L0L .Please! Dining out is an experience in noise and over stimulation unless the diner does a research project of the restaurant before the experience. The quiet ones are hard to find. I am so OVER having to listen to someone else's selections of music while dining and overly loud conversation and overly exhausted children. I can be happier having a cheese sandwich at home in blessed silence. Courtesy and conversation in the store front is replaced with people with cell phones glued to their ears and non interaction. Yes I am guilty.

Just last night my friend, Marge , and I were reviewing the crazy busy and over stimulated life we see daily....some ours and some observations of others. We even talked of the foreshadowing of the possibility of books becoming non existent at some future point. Since Marge and I are dedicated book worms this is of no small concern for us. We talked of how a thank you note is almost a lost art. E cards are the thing. While they are fun and I enjoy them, there is almost a sacred quality to receiving a hand addressed card in the mail. The fact that someone has taken the time to send a written letter or a card that they also took the time to purchase and post in regular mail is note worthy. Pun intended. . With stamps being 42 cents this gesture counts on many levels.

Marge and I were reflecting on how it is now possible to drive on familiar streets in our town and quickly become lost on some of those streets because of rapid....seemingly overnight...change and growth, and even redirection of regular routes with minimal information. It is almost disorienting and can feel as if...did this prior place ever exist?

While I realize it is not necessary to have a route historical preservation....surely some continuity of identification and redirection for awhile during rapid changes could serve some psychological purposes. These is some value in knowing where you have been as well as where you are going....both literally and figuratively.

To Marge and I, and I believe to others, this is just one more physical manifestation of that which we all may be concerned in the fast lane..... on roller skates in heavy traffic with no time to really experience...much less savor... those things that truly are the moments of our lives.

I love living in the moment but I am weary beyond belief of the feeling of running through the moment to the point that the end of the day it can feel like....What happened today? Where was the meaning in it for me? Where have we been? Where are we going? Yes boundaries....and assessment and time to breathe and know where we are going. What is important? What is the hurry? I promise to myself to participate less in running through life.

Well Marcus, I wrote this email because I was uncertain of how to enter into the post a comment process on your blog and I did not want to take a mini course to find out how to do it!. Since this has become such a long
reflection perhaps it is just as well that I did not pursue the technological path today.....Yet I note that I am reflecting about your article on a relatively new and fast computer with several bells and whistles and that I can preserve it on my blog with little effort.

Love and thanks for the distraction from the mundane!

Aunt Linda

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