Today, it’s the norm to see people with their heads down, pushing their fingers across a bright screen, even while walking or eating a meal with friends. An article in The Independent explores how this screen time is affecting our attention span, the implications over the long run, and how to keep our digital devices from ruling our lives.
An anecdote about dwindling attention spans, from the article:
An eighth-grade teacher tells me that for many years she has had successive classes of students read the same book, Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. Her students have loved it—until five years or so ago. “I started to see kids not so excited—even high-achieving groups could not get engaged with it,” she told me. “They say the reading is too hard; the sentences are too complicated; it takes a long time to read a page.”
To combat the onslaught of information overload and incessant screen time, the article’s author tries out Daniel Goleman‘s new audiobook, Cultivating Focus: Techniques for Excellence. While he says it was difficult to not think about thinking during the exercises, the brief experience was beneficial:
But even trying it a few times, and fumbling occasionally…