May I have your attention, please? Not some small sliver of your already-too-divided attention but your full focus and attention. No? Then, you are too distracted. In this information-saturated age, we are all of us too distracted.
We aren’t paying enough attention to what really matters, and what’s worse, we aren’t paying enough attention to who really matters. Instead of living in the present moment, we have allowed our focus to be spread across too many things at once.
We pride ourselves on our ability to do many different things at once, even though the results we produce across the whole range of activities are far less than they would have been if we had given ourselves over to one activity, one outcome. We pride ourselves on our ability to multi-task, as if it’s a positive attribute. It is anything but, and our results prove it.
We sit across the table from the most important people in our lives, and instead of being engaged with them for the relatively short time that we have them, we stare into a small screen and divide our attention among people who aren’t even there, most of them strangers.
Lost are the shared moments that make up intimate human relationships, lifelong friendships and love, since our little screens demand that we pay attention to the trivial, the unimportant. And we pay for giving the small screens our attention with lives that are less than they might be because our relationships are less than they might be.