February 18, 2009
Caught Red Handed
In December, when I was supposed to be Christmas shopping for my husband, I got distracted in the Apple Store and came out with an iPhone. The rest, as they say, is history.
After years of herding toddlers with my head in the sand(box), this device has singlehandedly propelled me into modern times. I watch webcasts, read the latest headlines, check messages, download apps, tweet, twerp, you name it! But now, now I need to learn how to put it down.
The term I've heard bantered around is Constant Partial Attention. Apparently, all of this instantaneous communication can impede our ability to focus. We become so programmed to continuously check for information, that we tend to interrupt ourselves. In some cases, it impacts our manners, common sense, and common courtesies.
I don't want to rain on the iPhone (or even the Obama Blackberry) parade. I just want to point out that it takes focus to solve a problem. And problems, well, they seem to be getting worse. Like 'airplane' mode, maybe we could suggest some new modes for the next version: solving-a-physics-problem mode, talking-to-my-wife mode (very important), driving-in-my-car mode, etc. Yes, of course I know we can always turn it off, but hey, this is more creative!