Alone Together - Instant Gratification & Shortening Attention Spans

Instant Gratification & Shortening Attention Spans.

I was showing my son a web video — and in less than a minute he was texting someone. 

Let me make that more clear … it was Less-Than-A-Minute! … while he was standing with me … and he did it without hesitation, apology, or sense that shifting his attention to the phone was in any way a bad thing.

I know "get over it".  He was probably texting before we spoke, anyway; right?

You're probably seeing similar behavior more often too.

120622 Put the Phone Away


It is scary to realize how easy it is to focus on a phone, iPad or e-mail rather than a person.

Upon reflection, we spend a lot of time alone together.

There is a difference between physical presence and being present.


120623 Alone Together at IHOP


Focus can be pretty fragile if it isn't a conscious choice.

To demonstrate this, here is a seemingly easy challenge … simply listen to a favorite song.

The challenge is how you can truly do that without losing focus and having other thoughts intrude (for example, without thinking about your to-do list or other songs that you like, or who you're going to meet with later in the day, etc.)?  For me, the answer was not that long.

Sometimes it feels like modern life causes attention deficit disorder.

Attention Deficit Can Be Dangerous If You Aren't Aware of It.

110625 focusYet, losing focus while trading, in business, or even during a simple conversation – can have serious consequences.

When you are not aware of your focus, I bet it wanders.  Mine does; I get distracted easily. 

It didn't take long for me to realize that this happened to me while talking to my wife, while listening to a telephone call, even when ordering food at a restaurant. How can I lose focus on the waitress while I was ordering? Apparently, quite easily.

How about you?  When you're listening to someone talk to you, are you really listening to them – or are you checking e-mail, texting, browsing a website, watching TV, playing a game, or thinking about what you're going to say? 

Be honest with yourself; how often are you fully present?  For me, the answer was not nearly enough.


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