I’ve never seen an article that more perfectly echoes the themes of intentionality, focus, and doing good work that The Attention Management Blog is trying to convey than this talk (We’re Creating a Culture of Distraction) by Joe Kraus. I read it a few months ago, and have been thinking about it since then. The ideas Joe talks about, the trends he identifies, and the solutions (or beginnings of an attempt at solutions) he suggests are all Important and Worthy of Discussion.
I’m wary of including anything from his talk here, as the whole piece is so good and I’d hate for you to think that the excerpt fully captures the article. But I want to give you a taste of it. So here’s the concluding section from his talk. But, really, I can’t encourage you enough to go read the whole thing. Highly, highly, highly recommended.
Imagine the world 10 years from now. My third grader will be graduating high school. What does that world look like? I’d guess that it’s going to be more fast paced than ever. That people are going to be even more distracted, even more unable to pay attention to things for any length of time. Even less able to tolerate boredom. Even less able to pay attention to one another.
Now imagine your own child in stark contrast to that culture of distraction. Technically literate, but also balanced. A calmer presence. Not distracted. Not constantly seeking out mindless stimulation. An ability to make real human connection by not signaling that there might be something better on his smartphone to look at. An ability to pay attention to a problem for a long time.
I believe that the biggest gift we can impart on our kids is the ability to be mindful – to pay attention to the things and to the people that are actually around them. In 10 years, that’s going to feel VERY VERY different than the norm.