This Thursday’s Thought

DISCLAIMER: This week’s post has to do with the ramifications of living in a hyper-connected society. I recognize the irony in discovering the article I’m about to share with you on my Twitter feed, retweeting said article, and crafting this post jointly from my iPhone and Macbook Pro to be shared via WordPress and Facebook. I am in the full swing of this technological storm.

technological (r)evolution (photo cred: http://weheartit.com/entry/64471000?pgx=similar_entries)

technological (r)evolution (photo cred: http://weheartit.com/entry/64471000?pgx=similar_entries)

The Atlantic is a melange of miscellanea, from sports news to relationship advice to this article that caught and – contrary to its main message – managed to sustain my attention.

Parents: you’ll want to read it.

Without elaborating in great detail (I mean, if you’re literate enough to read this post, surely you can click the jump above and power through a one-pager), Linda Stone – a tech exec whose resume boasts the likes of Apple and Microsoft – makes the following argument:

With a laundry list of screens at our disposal, we are doing an increasing disservice to the old cliche “You have my full attention.” Stone coined the term continuous partial attention to capture the reality of today’s society and especially us Gen X’ers: it has become an honest challenge to stay in one place for long. Our insatiable need to be “logged in” has tampered with our ability to just be.

Here is what I propose to you this Thursday:

You’ve read my blog post (thank you!). Presumably you will read the full article (which you’ll thank me for because it really is a good read). Now exit the Matrix and do as Stone suggests – PLAY.

Self-directed play allows both children and adults to develop a powerful attention strategy, a strategy that I call ‘relaxed presence.’ (…) Mind and body in the same place at the same time.

To borrow another overused saying, what I took away from the article was a sense of urgency to consciously “give it my all” with whatever I’m doing – body and mind. Whether it’s walking my neighbourhood, journaling before bed, or chatting with friends over drinks, being present in the now is one of the most valuable things you can gift yourself. The strategies and the benefits will flow naturally from it.

/jr

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