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Social media, attention, distraction and overload...

One of the themes of my writing here and in my thinking in general is that we still don't understand the changes that are happening to our society with all the new media and communication methods all around us. For instance, I wonder a great deal about whether our "multi-tasking" is truly a good thing for us in the long run. Even as the latest "Millenial" generation emerges that is used to living in a "perpetual state of partial attention"... is that a good thing? As we increasingly divide our attention and our focus among many different tasks, will that help us get more things done? Or fewer? (Because, in fact, we are losing focus?)

I have my views... but I don't know... and I don't know that we will know for quite some time.

On that subject, though, Wired came out recently with an article "Digital Overload Is Frying Our Brains" that is really an interview with author Maggie Jackson who is writing a book "Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age". I know very little about Jackson, although her blog does have some interesting posts (albeit very infrequently posted) but the topic is obviously one of interest to me. The title, in particular "the Coming Dark Age" part, seems a bit over the top... but I also realize that there is a marketing exercise involved with titling books - and this one certainly does draw attention.

The book isn't due out until September 2009, apparently, but it will be interesting to learn more about it as that date draws closer.

In the meantime, I have 37 other books to read, a bunch of blog posts to write, some podcasts to listen to... some updates to tweet... and I should put out some status reports in here somewhere... oh, yes, and the email and IM conversations to attend to...

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