Read Two Articles and Text Me in the Morning


I was on the tram when I first realized I was having trouble concentrating. It was a linguistics article, and it occurred to me that I was reading one paragraph over and over again. Naturally I blamed the attractiveness of Czech women for my inability to get through the article.

Later, on the couch, I had the same problem with the same article. The only Czech female afoot was the cat, and she was busy licking her butt on my kitchen table. Determined, I set a time limit and read the article. By the time I finished, I was sweating and soon thereafter dozed into a long nap born of weariness.

It’s become clear that my attention span has been waning. This struggle to read a simple article is just the latest symptom of this problem. In hindsight, I should have started to worry when I lost interest in the middle of a chicken recipe.


Really, I shouldn’t be surprised this has happened. As a kid, I was a distracted goof who often found himself in trouble with nuns and other teachers for simple misunderstandings like walking off in the middle of a math test. My scattered nature has been cultivated by lots of factors.

Modern technology is to my attention span what mescaline was to Hunter Thompson’s sanity. There is YouTube, whose billion + short video clips I watch as I get ready for work. There is the SMS, with which we communicate all day, everyday in staccato phrases and words. This is all the more degenerative if you include its slow younger brother, text speak – No wut I mean? All of it works to break things down to bite-sized chunks edible by today’s dissipating attention span.

Still with me?

If you have a frontal lobe, you know of the dozens of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. Facebook allows you to find out everything happening in your friends’ lives in one – usually short – status update. The reaction to this status is usually a shorter comment or summed up more succinctly by clicking a button entitled ‘Like.’ Twitter encapsulates a person’s wittiest and most thought-provoking insights as long as they can do it in fewer than 140 characters. And Reddit is sort of a mixture of it all, with memes, pictures, and Gifs added in. That said, if they ever, ever get rid of Gone Wild, I am going to cry the cry of a thousand dying unicorns.

But what has really done my attention span in are these ‘list’ articles typical of Buzzfeed. You see them everyday – 7 Habits of People with Healthy Nipples or 6 Reasons Heroin is Healthier than Pizza. These ‘list’ articles have now become a staple of every e-zine and blog (guilty, as charged!), as well as every culture, humor, science, and news site on the Internet. I suppose that they are just making the articles more accessible to our brain’s inability to focus.


We r fukt


I don’t know about you, but this disturbs me. I read novel after novel, but when it comes to articles, my brain seems incapable of focusing on anything longer than the average shampoo instruction.

My personal course of action is to read two long articles every day. If it works, I’ll write an article about it: 5 Reasons to Read Two Articles Every Day.       

  1. #1 by greg galeone on December 1, 2013 - 11:02 pm

    u r ok. I thot I tot u gud ritin.

  2. #2 by Andy on December 2, 2013 - 2:51 pm

    I realized half way through this post that I was still thinking about the “Six Reasons to Love Thanksgiving Leftovers” article I read while making my lunch this morning.

  3. #3 by Amber Lite on December 3, 2013 - 12:34 am

    Is it possible the article just sucked? Facebook IS ADD-inducing, it’s true…wait, what was I doing?

  4. #4 by AnthonyKK on December 4, 2013 - 5:34 am

    is here a classic “good news, bad news”?

  5. #5 by Kelly on December 4, 2013 - 5:42 am

    I skim constantly but I think a lot of this is due to the fact that the internet offers such an immense amount of information that I’m very choosy with what I’ll actually devote significant attention to. Especially in the blogging world. Anyone can be a writer now. Never before has it been so easy to publish whatever whim comes to mind and most of it is crap. We have to have a discerning eye or we would live here even more than we already do. Lists are easy. They’re an easy read and they’re an easy get (as far as traffic goes) for bloggers. But they’re definitely a symptom of less patience and shorter attention spans. Your articles always keep me interested though. Then again, you write about booze, cats and humiliating experiences. That’s a pretty solid formula where I’m concerned.

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