When I was growing up and watched TV, I was riveted to the screen. I used to run home, throw my bag and homework in a scrap heap and run to turn on the after school cartoons like Transformers and G.I. Joe. Television has always had this mezmorizing effect on me, a way that I could forget about all the stupid stuff that happened to me and that I did. It was the ultimate escapism and an affair I continue to have to this day. The outdoors don’t hold a candle to the awesome adventures I was having on the tube.
Then about 12 years ago, I got my first Mac laptop, and I was so excited. An internet machine that allowed me to escape much like the television, except I controlled where the programming went. ESPN, Entertainment Weekly, IGN, WordPress…we all have our favorite sites we go to. I loved sitting on the couch surfing while watching TV.
Somewhere along the way, it wasn’t just me, but everyone starting this bizarre attention splitting where we watched TV and were on a device, either a laptop, tablet or phone along with watching TV. TV was no longer given our complete and undivided attention. There was even a commercial that was in our local area that spoke to how we as a people do that.
It was a pitch from Comcast to get advertisers to advertise with them. A woman is sitting on the couch, watching a crime show, but at the same time, looking at a cooking website. So the show on TV combines a guy being interrogated by the police and asking him what the recipe for pesto was.
It perfectly demonstrated how divided our digital attention is these days.
Quite honestly, I am okay with that. In fact, as I write this post, I am also listening to music and avoiding work. I like the fact that people’s attention is divided. I hope you are also listening to music right now. Just make sure it isn’t any lame music because that is just insulting.
In fact, I would like your divided attention.
That makes my introverted self much more comfortable. If we are in conversation, I want you to be distracted enough to leave when I run out of stupid questions to ask about you.
If you are a boss and you are asking me if I got something done that I didn’t, I want you focusing on 3 other things, so my miniature thing isn’t so important and you are ready to rail on someone else for something much bigger.
If you are a laughing at a joke I am telling that is super funny, and I am out of jokes, I want you to be distracted by other things, so you can easily slip out when my material goes dry.
My favorite coping mechanism is distraction. I am an expert level escape artist when it comes to bailing social or other type situations. I can usually find ways to distract you, but when you can give me your divided attention, it makes it so much easier for me to do my escape act.
Thanksgiving is coming and I could definitely use some divided attention.
What are your favorite coping mechanisms? Are you excited by everyone giving you their divided attention, or does it drive you up the wall?
Bitterly Distracted Ben