At the CREW Convention last week, I realized that I had a hard time sitting and listening to speakers for any length of time. I found myself settling in to the uncomfortable hotel chairs, listening intently for about one minute tops, before I felt the pull to reach down and check my phone. This happened over and over until I put it together on day two, I think I may have shortened my attention span with my smart phone.
Another recent observation about new behavior that isn’t all that positive is how I use Netflix and Amazon Prime instant viewing. I am a lifelong opponent of having a TV in my bedroom. I think it can cause a variety of problems. Yet somehow, in the last few years, my husband and I have become Netflix, binge watching junkies. We crawl into bed, kiss and roll over to our selected Netflix viewing positions and watch until we pass out. This may have evolved post child as a way to grab just a bit of time for us each day. We used to get our TV watching done together on the sofa, but with a toddler this doesn’t happen.
One final symptom of my broken brain is reading. I love to read and am a fiction reader. The joy of burying myself in another world by opening the pages of a book is a long time pleasure. But lately I’ve had trouble not only picking out books, but also focusing on them. Nothing is grabbing me and after four or five books I have to concede that the problem may not be my choices, but my miniscule attention span.
I’m among the masses that are likely experiencing this problem. I’ve seen articles about studies done on how the smart phone is rewiring our brain. It doesn’t sound like we’re headed in a pleasant direction. I think I’m going to stage my own revolution. Last night we tried to go technology free in the bedroom. I realized when I woke at 1:30 am and couldn’t fall back asleep without the phone that the problem is greater than I imagined. So I will allow myself a withdrawal of some type, with the goal of being phone free in bed within the week.
And the copy of The Martian that I just picked up, I will read that in less than six months. Even better, how about I read it within the month.
This sounds frustrating already. But I’d like my ability to focus back so I’ll fight the good fight. Technology is my friend, at certain times. The rest of the time, I’m going to re-enter the real world.