There’s something terribly wrong with me. It’s something I’ve had to learn to live with, to endlessly try to control, and I pray every day that it won’t be the weakness that somehow kills me.
I… I’m easily distracted.
I know that the statement “easily distracted” might seem overused, but I think it’s definitely applicable to my life and to the lives of most younger people today. I have trouble focusing, staying on task, and making use of my time in a productive way. If I sit down with the intention of finishing a project or writing a paper (or a blog), I usually find myself doing something completely off task in only a matter of minutes. It’s ridiculous.
I’m focusing. I’m focusing. I’m focusing really hard. And then suddenly… Suddenly I find my hand lingering above the keyboard. I know it’s about to press those two keys that usually end up being my downfall: Command-T. The new tab opens, and the options are limitless. Next thing I know, I’m browsing. And odds are, it will be a while before I get back to my project.
It’s weird to think that something is able to control me like this. It’s gotten to the point that I do it without even realizing it, and it keeps me from working effectively on my projects. I sit down and read a real book without pausing at the end of a page to check Facebook for a quick minute. Because of this, I hardly ever read for pleasure. It hasn’t always been this way, though. I used to read voraciously when I was a kid, usually bringing a book and a backup book whenever I left the house. Things have changed a bit since then.
Recent developments in the online world have changed how we think. Our capacity to comprehend and focus on subjects for longer than a few moments has diminished significantly thanks to the quick and easy access to information that the internet provides us with. Ever since my introduction to the magical internet land (wee little delicate lass that I was), I have felt my attention span slowly slipping.
And I’m definitely not saying that technology is terrible or that the internet is to blame for the way that I conduct myself academically, but I would say with some confidence that the flurry of information that I subject myself to has slowly mushed up the part of my brain that helps me to hold on to large amounts of information for an extended period of time. Just like in the advertising industry, the internet is a place where small bits of information are thrown at its users like popcorn, just long enough to get the message across. We’ve been conditioned to think of this as normal, so much so that if an article takes longer than three minutes to read it’s not worth the time. And ads? ADS??? Ads are the worst. Seriously.
I think the biggest thing that we can take away from the whole “the internet is ruining humanity” controversy is that just as much as the internet offers us, there are some things that are taken away as a result. I would say that having access to a plethora of material that I can use as inspiration in my own endeavors has increased my creative capacities, but at the same time it has taken away my ability to sit still and work productively for long periods of time. The internet will always be my friend, but in some ways it’s not always a healthy relationship.
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