I’ve been meaning to link to this article for a while… but I lost my focus and forgot about it.
Even before this all-in-one technology makes its grand debut, we are revelling in the miracle of nearly ubiquitous connectivity. But all this access has not come without a psychological cost that is ultimately rooted in the way our brains function. If we now find ourselves adrift in an ocean of information, our mental state increasingly resembles the slivered surface of a melting glacier. As the dozens of studies at interruptions.net attest, we have created a technological miasma that inundates us with an inexhaustible supply of electronic distractions. Rather than providing necessary interruptions to assist us in focusing on the incomplete task at hand, as Zeigarnik proposed, the deluge of multi-channel signals has produced an array of concentration-related problems, including lost productivity, cognitive overload, and a wearying diminishment in our ability to retain the very information we consume with such voraciousness. It may be that our hyper-connected world has quite simply made it difficult for us to think. […]
If we are to establish balance in our relationship with the digital information that envelops us, we must reconsider our understanding of the inner workings of our pre-existing mental machinery and the limits of its capacity to adapt to the electronic environment.
One approach is to recognize the futility of the compulsion to inundate ourselves with information in the hope of meaningfully processing everything that comes over the digital transom.
From the Walrus Magazine, Driven to distraction: How our multi-channel, multi-tasking society is making it harder for us to think.