I’d Like Your Divided Attention

I kind of like TV.

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.

You know what I mean…what were we talking about?

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


36 thoughts on “I’d Like Your Divided Attention

  1. Excellent post!

    I try to give people my undivided attention when they are talking to me. I look them in the eye, acknowledge I’m listening (nodding head at appropriate times), etc.

    But, people are gonna’ do what they’re gonna’ do. So I don’t mind if they don’t give me their undivided attention. It is weird to be in a room of people though and everyone has their nose in their phone. Ha. Phones are not so much for the ears anymore. šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜›
    HUGS!!! šŸ˜‰


  2. Great post, which points out the absurdities of our bloated and overly informative age. I’ve definitely become dumber by degrees, as I sit on the couch watching Netflix on TV, with a Macbook AND smart phone within reach. No wonder my attention is so fractured. I know a few young people who aren’t bothering to learn to drive as they wait for driverless technology to catch up. That blows my mind. Keep up the incisive posts that cut thru the BS more often than not!
    BTW I bought an LCIII Mac in the late eighties. $2500 complete package. Gave it to my nephew a few years later.


  3. You’re selling what now? I don’t know how anyone can focus on one thing in order to get distracted, although apparently there are some people out there that only hear one voice in their head…. weirdos! So, can I place an order for 5?


  4. Bad new: I only read your blog when I read your blog. However, sometimes my husband is trying to talk to me ,and I give you both my divided attention. Then I totally dump you for him, because I am that sort of a wife.


  5. This is a unique perspective and I’m impressed. I never thought of it before, but other people’s distraction has saved my ass on a number of occasions. I’m always distracting myself with a new project to avoid the one in progress. I think it’s called shiny object syndrome.


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