Categories
Life & Philosophy

Staying connected

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Details often allude the inattentive.

Our attention sticks to the future, trying to manage unforeseeable events while simultaneously harping on the past.

In other words, the present is filled with more than one single mind and instead replaced with a collection of fragments.

But we can advance human intuition with a slight tweak in focus.

Instead of letting worry and anticipation colonize our lives, we can step into the space between stimulus and response and just relax.

“I needed no telescope except my attention.” — Oliver Sacks

Categories
Books

‘The peak of peak attention…’

“The peak of peak attention can be assigned an exact date: Sunday, September 9, 1956, when Elvis Presley made his first appearance on television, on CBS’s Ed Sullivan Show. Its 82.6 percent share of viewers has never been equaled or bettered.”

— Tim Wu, The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads

Categories
Apps Social Media Tech

Win back your attention by turning your screen gray 📱⬜👀

The variety of colors on our smartphone screens pop like candy. As advertiser Bruce Barton wrote in his 1925 book In The Man Nobody Knows, “The brilliant plumage of the bird is color advertising addressed to the emotions.”

We tap into Instagram, scroll through a few photos, and return to the home screen to bounce off to other apps. And then we repeat the process again in a mindless fashion.

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After a while, we start to lose all conscious brain power. We fly between apps like we’re hitting buttons at the casino. The variable rewards keep us spinning in a ludic loop. Technology undermines our attention by bombarding our senses with a surfeit of stimuli that lights up like a Christmas tree.

Turn it gray. That’s right: we need to dull our screens to bore our senses. Turning the phone grayscale doesn’t make it dumb, it just makes it less attractive. Writes Nellie Bowles in the New York Times:

I’m not a different person all of a sudden, but I feel more in control of my phone, which now looks like a tool rather than a toy. If I unlock it to write an email, I’m a little less likely to forget the goal and tap on Instagram. If I’m waiting in line for coffee, this gray slab is not as delightful a distraction as it once was.

Want to give your thumbs a break and regain some attention? Study the instructions on Lifehacker on how to turn your screen grayscale.