Colm O’Regan: Divided Attention Disorder?

On the way into work this morning I received an unexpected laugh while listening to the BBC World Service Business Daily. The full podcast can be found here, just fast forward to 13:55 and enjoy. If you would rather read it here is the full article penned by comedian and writer Colm O’Regan entitled, “Divided Attention Disorder? Log off and read a book.” It begins like this…

My Internet browser has 24 tabs open. Among them are three separate attempts to reply to the same e-mail. My online banking session has timed out, and in the corner of my screen a Twitter feed is a never-ending scroll of news and links. Which I click. And click.

What’s wrong with me?

What’s wrong, is that I may have Divided Attention Disorder, or DAD. DAD encapsulates the growing phenomenon whereby the constant stream of online information could actually be changing the way our brains work.

I first read about this in a magazine while waiting to get my hair cut. The article is quite lengthy. Ironically the only reason I had the attention span to read all of it was that my local barber-shop has no mobile phone reception.

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