The Death Of Attention

on 05.21.2007

Growing up in the 80's most people didn't have a PC and even fewer had heard the word "Email". I remember a couple of those hilarious people in the 90's that said the internet was just a "Fad". Some people actually thought it would fade away like the Virtual Reality world of the Lawnmower Man. Fast forward to the present and it is more than evident that the internet is here to stay. But with all that new information out there you have to ask the question, "Are we really better off than we were?"

For a while I thought I'd reached the pinnacle of information digestion. If you look at my desktop you will see an almost innumerable amount of windows and tabs open. I've got a taskbar that is three layers deep and about ten different tabs open in my browser. Now it seems that all these things I have been doing have actually inhibited my ability to think. Blame it on video games, blame it on video on demand, or just blame it on anything with the word "Video" in it. The fact of the matter is our brains are going through some serious changes unlike any other time in human history. The amount of information the modern day person receives in a day is about as much information as someone from 1900 would receive over an entire lifetime. So that means yesterday you were inundated with so much information that it took a whole lifetime for your great-great grandfather to receive. In addition to that "By 2020 the available body of information is expected to double every 73 days!" The only problem is that this isn't necessarily a good thing. So I must ask the question "How has this flood of information affected my life?"

Well first of all I have almost completely lost the ability to concentrate on one thing at a time. I can't tell you how many times I started a 5 minute project only to realize an hour and 15 other half accomplished tasks later that I still haven't finished what I initially started out doing. What's worse is the fact that I can barely remember what I was supposed to be doing in the first place. A study came out a couple months ago that says all the multitasking technically savvy people are doing is actually making them dumber. You see the brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time. That's why any good sports coach will tell you to "Think Less, and Play More". So even though you think you are doing seven things at one time you are actually jumping back and forth between seven different tasks.

These days many people value things like jewelry, flat screens, and fancy cars. What many people don't see is that there is something much more valuable than all these things put together. Attention! Believe it or not this is the real reason why all these Hollywood starlets like Paris Hilton are giving blowjobs to random scumbags on camera. Seeing as how people like this already have all the money they need it only makes sense that they would show all on camera to get the one thing their parents and nannies could never give them enough of, Attention!. We are all starved for attention these days. Any number of assholes lighting firecrackers off in their mouth so they can post it on the Internet can attest to this. So the next time you are thinking of a nice product to package and sell remember this one thing. Find a way to bottle "Attention" and you'll have kings and starlets alike banging down your door demanding what they all truly crave more than their tacky SUV's and jewelry. Afterall, what other reason would they have to buy all that overpriced bullshit than in the hopes that you'll pay "Attention" to them as they drive their shallow ass down the street.

Greg J., gregj@crazyshit.com
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