We can tap into 50 million Web sites, 1.8 million books in print, 75 million blogs, and other snowstorms of information, but we increasingly seek knowledge in Google searches and Yahoo! headlines that we gulp on the run while juggling other tasks. We can contact millions of people across the globe, yet we increasingly connect with even our most intimate friends and family via instant messaging, virtual visits, and fleeting meetings that are rescheduled a half dozen times, then punctuated when they do occur by pings and beeps and multitasking. Amid the glittering promise of our new technologies and the wondrous potential of our scientific gains, we are nurturing a culture of social diffusion, intellectual fragmentations, sensory detachment. In this new world, something is amiss. And that something is attention.
- From Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson
[Photo by Sebastian Herrmann at Unsplash]