Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pay Attention!!!

Image courtesy of Sixninepixels at

Is there an adult in America today who doesn’t wonder, if they haven’t already been diagnosed, that they might have attention-deficit disorder? (And if there is, can they tell me their secret?)

That’s all?

That sounds about right.

As I’ve sat here, my daughter, away at college, texted me. So did several other people, including a spammer. Even if I don’t respond, I look: Who is it? Is it an emergency?

Then, the stupid thing beeps a second time several seconds later.

I supposed I could figure out how to reset that.

But meanwhile, since I looked, I see my mom responded to my email.

Oh, and I have some notifications from Facebook.

Facebook is its own particular distraction vortex. Oh, awful: A childhood classmate died. Oh, sweet: Another is getting married. Oh, a sponsored ad is looking for women who suffer from ovarian cancer who used talcum powder. Is that something to worry about? Oh, I feel sick: A video automatically plays of an abused dog so skinny, he can’t stand. Oh, but there are some sweet horses or goats or kittens or babies who are obviously doted on … My brain struggles to process all of this.

Where was I? Oh, yes, distraction.

But who am I kidding? I can remember the pre-Internet days. And I distinctly remember veering away from tasks I didn’t want to do.

Attention, at least for me, is this fleeting, fluttering, easily damaged thing.

It’s like herding butterflies.

And I still don’t have the hang of it.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. All of this "connectedness" can be awfully distracting, but the old days had their pitfalls too. My husband was in a minor vehicle accident (a teenage girl driver ran into him in a parking lot). He used his cell phone to call me and she called her mother, who came right away. If we had to use pay phones like before, yikes! Now, if I forget my phone, it makes me really nervous. Like I'm free floating out in the universe.

    In a somewhat similar vein, we were having dinner with the grand-kids (teenagers themselves) and were telling them how hard it was to have to use a typewriter before the days of word processing. Even before the advent of white-outs like Liquid Paper. Get done with a page and find you've left out a whole sentence. R-r-r-ip it out and start over! The kids were looking at us like we were some species of dinosaur that had just been discovered. :)