Sunday, February 26, 2012

My ...erm ...Attention Span

Of course as you get older your attention span goes. However, I have noticed a worrying trend in me and others that I think is more to do with outside influences.

My attention span is now the equivalent to 140 characters or 15 minute slots of time

Books - I used to pick up a book and read 50-100 pages in one hit and always finish a book before starting another. Now I am currently reading about 8 books, all of them take ages as I read just a few pages a time (perhaps 15 minutes) before seemingly getting bored and moving onto another book. My favourite author is Ian Banks. Recently it took me months to read one of his recent books, Matter - it was great but at 500+ pages it became a nightmare read.

TV - I don't watch any "live" TV anymore just Sky+ recordings of mostly american dramas. However, again, on free evenings I don't find myself watching  an episode right through. The other night I happily alternated between Borgen, True Blood, Sons Of Anarchy, The Walking Dead and Inside Men in 15 minute intervals. 

Films - again, in the past the only way to watch was from beginning to end. Now all my films are downloaded onto my iPhone and played through that and using Apple TV. I am quite happy to watch small sections in an evening, on the train, on the treadmill, even in bed, usually in small sections of around 15 minutes.

News - stopped buying newspapers years ago, don't watch TV news, and only listen to 5Live when cooking or to wake up. Now I get all my news from Twitter. I see an article on my feed and use Instapaper to Read Later. Then catch up with loads of articles when standing on a train, waiting for a bus or waiting in cafe's or bars (I am always early) Even then I seem to be able to skim read and pick out interesting facts.

The Kids - they are being brought up in an instant world of information and quick summaries where everything is for the moment and gone in a flash, whether its X Factor, You Tube, TV, Films and Facebook. Perhaps my level of parenting and doing things with them are in 15 minute slots of time - I shall have to monitor that.

This has all crept up on me - and talking to a good friend the other day it seems I am not alone.

Are we and our kids a new generation of human beings where all walks of life will become snippets of information and where conversations will be likewise.

What was it I was talking about, bored with that, now about that Company A vs Company B thing.......

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