Friday, February 22, 2008

Speaking of Being Focused...

In the past few years I've noticed some major changes in myself as far as focus goes. I compare my experiences in grad school with how I was in regular college and it's pretty amazing. Sad really. As an 18, 19, 20...year old in college I would take a lot of evening classes which were often 3 hour blocks. A lot of these were general ed science, history classes. Some were in large auditoriums with 300+ other students. These classes weren't necessarily exciting, but I remember being able to sit still and stay focused. I was always glad when class was over, but it never seemed too painful. Then I think about grad school. I'm older. I'm studying something I'm very interested in. My classes have all been small and overall engaging. Yet I have a harder time staying focused. Not just in class either. I struggle with staying committed to a number of projects (thesis). Maybe some people think this is silly, and maybe it is. But I attribute it in a lot of ways to my phone. I didn't have a phone in my undergrad years. Most of my friends had cellphones, but I resisted as long as I could. I didn't want this device to own me. But it has. I try not to text in class because I think it's disrespectful. But the second I get bored in a class I reach for my phone. To see what time it is. To see if anyone has texted me. To ask google what the weather will be tomorrow. It doesn't really matter the reason. I'm relieved that I've never wanted to take a laptop to class. I can only imagine. Class lectures would just be some annoying background noise I hear while I'm surfing.

This idea has intrigued me. I could go on and on. I feel so much more impatient than I think I used to. I feel my social skills diminishing... Yesterday I was listening to an old Radiowest podcast (i love d-fab!). It was called the Autumn of the Multitaskers. I highly recommend listening to it if you have the chance. It's an interview with the author of this article: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200711/multitasking . It's made me want to give away my phone and makes me feel that I'd probably be better off if I wrote out my thesis and then typed the final draft on a typewriter. Seriously. I would have been done months ago!

1 comment:

anita said...

first of all, verizon!
and d-fab is a woman.