Focus: PricelessBlog — By BWC on June 12, 2009 at 8:21 am
There’s a new book out about the stupefying of America and the basic thesis is that we’re growing dumber because we’re unwilling, or unable to pay attention and focus on one thing at a time. What do you think of this thesis? (excuse me a moment, my cell’s ringing and it’s important; not that you’re not important, but you know, it’s just polite to answer). Now, where was I? O yes, I was saying that there might be a connection between the cracks in our productivity infrastructure and our attention bearing capacity (a moment please, someone’s tweeting and LOL, it’s hysterically funny. I mean who eats oysters and pickels for breakfast anyway?).
Did you know that 2 out of 3 voting Americans can’t name the three branches of the US government? (and speaking of branches, we’re finally trimming that giant fir tree in the front yard. OMG, it’s been growing out of control and after talking to some people in the know we decided that we could take it on ourselves, but I’m going to need to sharpen my chain saw…but I digress). Anyway, our failure to understand basic things is rooted (don’t even get me started on the danger of roots making their way into our sewer pipes. It happened to our neighbor), says the author, in our failure to be able to focus on one thing at a time.
It’s ironic that this new book is, at the time of this entry, ranked #22 on the best-seller list for books about pop-culture (it’s presently linked on Amazon to the book people buy along with my book. Oh, you didn’t know I wrote a book. Yes, well it came about, um, I’ll need to tell you later, my phone’s ringing), because this is the week that the Time Magazine cover story is about Twitter. (Just a minute, someone came into my office to talk about church planting and satellite campuses. It’s entirely new terrain for our staff and we’re investigating how it works) Oh, and so as I was saying, Time points out how we valuable twitter will be in our culture and I’m like, “really? I don’t think so. I don’t know that I want people tweeting during my sermons because how will I know if they’re listening? Plus, who really cares?”. So (just a second, my chat box is open from gmail), the question is this: Is there value in swimming upstream against the multi-tasking, intrusive tech (oops, a reminder came up that I’ve a lunch appointment in 15 minutes), culture that we’ve come to accept as normative?
How should we then live?
A. continue to multi-task but shut it all down at a certain time, and read, meditate pray?
B. be more agressive in fighting back by unplugging in large swaths, allowing intrusions only at scheduled times?
C. leave things as they are?
I’d like your thoughts because…
Declining Math scores: 40 billion in lost competitive productivity
ADD: (wait a sec – the phone’s ringing again)
Increasing mean age of project managers in America to nearly 60 years old: alarming
Loss of thoughtful discourse regarding literature and ideas: disconcerting (oops… IM on the phone about a rehearsal)