The Rise of Information and Your Focus
The first thing I noticed as I walked in the front door from a 7 week trip, was weeks of newspapers, magazines, flyers and mail that piled up from the mail slot on the door. After unloading the car I sat down to rest and began flipping through the channels on the television. I realized there were over 400 channels, most of which I do not use. After that I spent time scanning Feedly for about 30 minutes and saved articles to read later. My feed has over 100 blogs and websites I get updates from. All this doesn’t include the social networks I manage. If we start talking about email, we would probably double or triple the information we receive on a daily basis. This is just the beginning for most of us. Our relationships require focus as they are a source of information as well. After family, friends, church, work, social commitments and other organizations we all partake in, how do we manage all this information?
For those of us living in the information age it should be no surprise that stress levels are up, and health issues like anxiety, attention deficit disorder, and depression are all high. We have lost focus as an important element of life.
What No One Tells You About Your Attention
I recently watched a group of young adults in a restaurant as they laid their phones face down on the table to see who would pick up their’s first. Yes, it is important to put out phones down so that we can create relationships, but the point I want to make here is that people treat it as a game. I saw another couple at a coffee shop having a pleasant conversation, but then one of them was distracted by their phone. I could see in that moment that the conversation went from pleasant to disappointing and the attention shifted. The talker sat there looking alone while the listener was somewhere else.
The information age has hijacked our brain’s ability to focus, because it is now looking for more stimulation. We crave updates and notifications. We thirst for the groundbreaking news and the things that go viral. There is a need to constantly staying plugged in so you don’t miss a moment. How many times have you retweeted the latest trending topic in the last hour, or liked a photo on Facebook? Information is an addiction that holds your focus and productivity hostage. Phones and tablets have become more valuable and a higher priority than real relationships. But in this age of information, followers, friends and connections do not always equate to real relationships.
The battlefield is a scene of chaos. The winner will be the one who controls both his own an the enemies. – Napoleon Bonaparte
Lives have become hectic and chaotic. No longer do you feel in control of where you’re heading and may have lost sight of your vision and goals. Maybe your mind is clouded and it seeks clarity, but never finds it. Even if it does, obstacles prevent you from finishing what you started. Without focus you cannot pursue the life you were meant to live and fulfill that purpose.