Modern Day Attention Disorder?

by meditative - November 16th, 2015

Do we as a society suffer today from attention deficit disorder? How about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? What is our present capacity to pay attention and to sustain attention? How do we effectively pay attention when we appear to be so self-preoccupied? What have we become harboring so much habit, addiction, and affliction? How has our culture moved in a direction of perpetual distraction- isolating ourselves from our own interiority as well as from socially and meaningfully connecting with others? Insulated and isolated- is our sense for belongingness being ignored and unattended- or have we just transcended our need for connectivity to something larger than ourselves as a species? As Homo sapiens,we are supposed to be the “knowing” species- and the species that knows “knowing”.

Stress, preoccupation, and relentless busyness are stripping down our attending faculties. How does being chronically overwhelmed affect our capacity or ability to see clearly and to respond intimately to what is occurring around us as it is happening? Our unintended disregard and rising forgetfulness is reaching an endemic condition.

What have all our “time saving” devices really created for us? Is it now harder to pay attention to any one thing as there is so much more to pay attention? We’re so busy trying to figure things out- “lost” in our heads- that we can no longer effectively “sense” how things truly are. We seem more easily diverted and distracted- information, deadlines, and communications are fast, furious, incessant, and endless. It is this endless urgency that is assaulting our nervous systems- fostering reaction rather than communion- discord rather than accord- fear & agitation rather than contentedness & calmness.We are being squeezed into the future at the expense of attending to our present moments. Our time – our presence is being compromised by our own constructs…by our colossal technologies… and by our high speed (“real time”) connectivity. We are disembodying ourselves.

It is these same technological advancements coupled with our compulsive tendency to multi-task with them that threatens to continue to erode our ability and our inclination to sustain attention, and thereby to know things more intimately before initiating some kind of action. With so much so fast- and so relentless,we are bound to forget and to be unaware. How does one liberate from the seduction and the appeal to our endless desire for becoming? It becomes very challenging to stand from where we are in the midst of so many options, choices, and distractions to be everywhere else but present.What we see is more often in motion than still.

When time becomes a “blur”- just think about all that is missed when one cannot clearly focus and attend to what sits directly in front of them.