Monday Musings – 2. Attention Span

photo-1437623889155-075d40e2e59fThe point of power is always in the present moment. – Louise L Hay

With all the distractions around, isn’t it getting increasingly difficult to pay attention? A recent article says that, our attention span is now less than that of a goldfish. I think I agree. My attention span seems to be getting shorter every day. When I am part of a conversation, I latch on to a word and then begin to wander in my head, going from one topic to another. This goes on for a few seconds before I bring myself back to the present. I catch myself going off on a different track ever so often, my mind racing towards something else. I also find it hard to sit still, even if it is just for a few seconds. I invariably unlock my phone and open one of the many apps installed.

When I go to a restaurant to pick up an online order, I know that the guy at the counter will take less than a minute to hand me my parcel, yet in that short span of time I have unlocked my phone screen and I have begun  scrolling through the newsfeed of one of the many social media applications I use.

I have forgotten how it is to wait for someone without using my phone to pass the time. Before gadgets took over our life (or rather, before we let gadgets take over our life), whenever we had to wait for a friend, or a car ride home, didn’t we just sit/stand there and take in everything around us instead of staring at our phone?

Recently, I tried to make some changes. I decided not to use my phone unless completely necessary. On one of those good days where I could stick to my decision for longer than ten minutes, I met a lady at the train station. We took the same train and we spoke till she had to get off. Turned out that we lived in the same apartment complex. Our apartment complex consists of at least 200 apartments. And the two of us live just three houses away. We have been living almost next to each other for over two years and we have never met. Not very surprising, but maybe I would have spoken to her sooner if I hadn’t been so busy staring at my phone.

I met her again a couple of times. Thanks to those extra five minutes of not being a smartphone-a-holic, I made a new friend. Or acquaintance. Maybe I should do this more often.

But look, new notifications on the phone. *unlocks phone*


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