distraction

The Attention-Span Myth

The Attention-Span Myth

Maybe my own brain is faltering in a Web wasteland, but I don’t get it. Whether the Web is making us smarter or dumber, isn’t there something just unconvincing about the idea that an occult “span” in the brain makes certain cultural objects more compelling than others? So a kid loves the drums but can hardly get through a chapter of “The Sun Also Rises”; and another aces algebra tests but can’t even understand how Call of Duty is played. The actions of these children may dismay or please adults, but anyone who has ever been bored by one practice and absorbed by another can explain the kids’ choices more persuasively than does the dominant model, which ignores the content of activities in favor of a wonky span thought vaguely to be in the brain.

Brilliant.

On with my distractions.

Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction

Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction

Matt Richtel at The New York Times documents student use of technology at Woodside High School in silicon valley (Redwood City, California).

On YouTube, “you can get a whole story in six minutes,” he explains. “A book takes so long. I prefer the immediate gratification.”

What can we say, the generation of Cliffs Notes.

Researchers say the lure of these technologies, while it affects adults too, is particularly powerful for young people. The risk, they say, is that developing brains can become more easily habituated than adult brains to constantly switching tasks — and less able to sustain attention.

Watch the video: Fast Times at Woodside High.