More than you can afford

From the readings I noticed a trend, it is made mention several times how overwhelmed we have become by media saturation. We are faced with having to budget our attention much like we do with money. It is in short supply now and is given away and received with high exchange rates. I know that I take a great deal of control over my attention throughout the day, continuously pruning and weeding out experiences that fail to enrich or delight me. See this second last sentence: it is not a real question but a rhetorical one, for who has the attention left to answer it? Go on – there’s something new on Facebook.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mark Dixon
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 13:04:50

    Yeah I have also noticed this, its almost as much as time itself has become such a precious commodity that we have to divide up amongst our ever screaming medias. Its easy to get distracted at time sand focus too much on one thing and not enough on others, we sacrifice sleep and often more productive tasks such as work and study to keep up to date with all our medias.

    Reply

    • Daniel
      Oct 22, 2010 @ 15:09:09

      I think that new media is just one of the culprits of attention deficit. Hollywood conspicuously haven’t slowed drastically in production of weakly scripted films (despite suggestions that piracy would choke creativity). Supermarkets are filled with more variety than ever making it difficult to decide which yoghurt you want. Celebrities are misbehaving, children are becoming chefs (note: not cooks, but chefs), cities are getting more hectic, work is getting harder and longer, terms & agreements are becoming attached to everything and rarely read, marriages are had in more numbers in one lifetime, must I go on. Distraction is the new attention.

      Reply

      • Mark Dixon
        Oct 25, 2010 @ 11:55:20

        Maybe this is why everyone is popping dexamphetamines and struggling to focus for more than 5 second on any given task. Do you think we have caused media induced ADD?

  2. Daniel
    Oct 25, 2010 @ 13:12:01

    The connection between the mental disorder and everyday distraction cannot be denied. It’s just that it cannot be a disorder if it is the norm. I don’t have a problem concentrating and am often infuriated (on the inside) by how little attention any one issue is given in most discussions I have had (or witnessed) recently. However, it may suggest another channel of social consensus. I assume that everyday social life, media, business, professions and other sides of 21st century citizenship are not independent realms, and heavily play of each other.

    Perhaps there is an encouraging interpretation to all of this – something relating to education and late modernism. Something like: having been forewarned of the dangers inherent in big over-arching understandings of life, most individuals have become intrinsically sceptical of any one presentation of meaning if it presents too many difficulties in interpretation; recent generations have come to prefer many little parcels of meaning instead. So, in limiting themselves to what they can understand immediately, it becomes conditionally ripe to refuse being swept away with what they do not comprehend.

    What do you think are the certain downsides of a deficit in attention?

    Reply

  3. Daniel
    Oct 25, 2010 @ 16:05:03

    Hang on, do you know where I can find out exactly how many people approx are doing pharmas? There must be statistics on how many 20-25 year old australians are on zolof, prozac, dexamph etc. Not to mention all the Singaporeans and Malaysian students. I suspect it’s quite high amongst Murdoch students generally – but it’s only a gut feeling – maybe 1 in 4 – is that ridiculous? It’s the 21st century LSD man!

    Guess it’s impossible to find the numbers of people using dexies illegally, or was that just an early 00’s thing?

    Reply

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