With the advent of Twitter and Facebook are people losing the ability to concentrate on one particular thing for more than a few moments?
Melissa H tries to unravel the modern day dilema of ‘distraction’…
I’m sitting at my laptop drinking coffee, assimilating thoughts to pour onto the blank screen in front of me, checking Twitter and Texting.
My mind has been full of late, work, friends, social life, what I’ll loosely term ‘personal development’ and a new boy. Smiley face.
I’m wired to multi stimulatory occupations. Work phone, personal phone, laptop, colleagues flitting in and out.
My day is about juggling time, locations, meetings and travel. I’m attached to three electronic devices all day, checking between them.
The ‘experts’ advise us to spend our commute to and from work looking out the window and ‘thinking’. Personally my head is buried deeply into Ayten Gasson’s ‘5 Lingerie items everyone should own’ or First World Life’s ‘nuggets of reality’.
I wonder, are we really less able to focus as a result of our constantly diverted attention?
I don’t believe in multi-tasking. I’m not a smug faced, glossy lipped ‘of course I can, as a woman I can multi task’ trumpeter. It’s simply an ability to move between tasks at speed with focused attention.
I do think I could, if I removed all other distractions, get tasks/projects done more swiftly. Yet I also believe that a few short breaks here and there lead to more focused bursts between.
Unless we’re talking about serious distraction.
As you slip from work clothes to something more comfortable, I slip into lust territory. Around August I engaged in some seriously distracting activity with someone incredibly edible. We spent a concentrated amount of time writing for each other. *clears throat*
Much of my day was spent thinking the all-consuming physical ache I have for him. Day dreaming, sat in meetings and realising I hadn’t been listening for the last 10 minutes, finding myself sat smiling at the beautiful new shiny thing.
This particular distraction did NOT allow for bursts of focus in between, more forced sessions of irritable study which interrupted this delirious state. This type is difficult to disconnect from, unlike clicking out of your favourite app. It’s addictive. A purely biological, chemical response to another human being.
Thankfully for my boss and me, I was able to maintain some level of professional productivity during this distraction.
Distraction is good, I think.
It gives us perspective, renewed focus and energy, or allows us to decide that that problem is not really important. It’s the biscuit addition to our routine tea breaks. And if you’re really lucky, and open yourself up to the very best of distractions, the sugary sweet endorphin filled rush is at your fingertips whenever you need it.