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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Have you realized that our average attention span is getting shorter?

Consider: we divide our daily hours between our work, family, friends and four cats. But we only have 24 hours a day. So how?

Solution: multitask, the new skill of our generation. With us, it's become more socially acceptable to receive work calls while eating dinner, or read smses while at the gym.

( hmm, what effect does that have on eroding social mores? File away for another blog entry )

I, too, have noticed this shortening attention span in myself. Once I used to sit for hours and read the same book till I was done. Now, I find myself skimming text to get to the better parts.

( which reminds me, I haven't finished my library book. When is it due? Lemme check online... )

Not surprising after all. We are the generation that first grew up with SMSes and e art of squzin as mny wrds we cld in2 160 char. You could say we invented a totally new form of shorthand.

( SMS beep! Hmm, J says he'll meet me soon, where to go fir drinks...? )

The Internet served to fuel this further. Broadband taught us that information should be fast, fast, fast. Unacceptable that a website should take 5 mins to load! 10 mins for a Youtube video? Out of your mind.

2 guys then brought together the dual sins of shorthand and the want-it-now greed and came up with Twitter. Now you could have it short and sweet. And since the tweets are so short, they load fast. VoilĂ ! The rally flag of the Net generation!

( I should tweet about this post when i'm done )

But with all this, I wonder if, as in the words if the poem, we have started to live a life full of care, but no time to stop and stare. As the vast majority of Tweets show, how is it possible to compose thoughts into a coherent line of thought when you are thinking in 5 minute bursts? There are some things, art, music, literature, heck blogging, that need periods of intense self-concentration if one is to produce anything great. ( or even worth reading ) Take away this ability and yes, you may have many writers. But how many Shakespeares? How many Beethovens? How many people, in other words, who will not settle for mediocrity and will doggedly pursue a standard of excellence?

( oooh good phrase. I should file that away)

Maybe it's time we realized... The world will recognize us more for one great work... Than for a million little tweets.

( should I write more? nah, good ending! Ok, what next? )

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