We Have Lost Our Awareness

We have adopted a style of “everyday media multitasking” - which is a generous way of saying that we have lost our awareness of what is necessary and what is simply reflexive responding as though prodded by a sharp stick.

Adam Gazzaley & Larry Rosen, The Distracted Mind

People say that time is our most valuable personal resource, given its non-renewability, but I disagree. Our attention is more important. Only when we learn to optimize it do we ever actually accomplish anything.

A simple example:

An hour spent on the couch with your significant other while you both watch Netflix & scroll through Instagram will do less for your relationship than fifteen minutes of conversation, listening, & eye contact would.

Just like in the gym, the number of minutes we spend on a given task matters less than the quality of those minutes.

It’s time we stopped patting ourselves on the back for 50, 60, 70-hour workweeks, & instead started taking pride in how effectively we’ve wrestled control of our attention back from the tools & industries that would rather we continue distracting ourselves to inadequacy.

SelfPatrick Cummings