Monday, January 5, 2015

I have zero attention span, and my smart phone is to blame

Actually, I'm to blame. But I would rather ascribe my complete inability to concentrate on anything for more than 10 seconds at a time on my Galaxy S4 device.

Smart phones are awesome, aren't they? They give us instant access to information, social connection (in a fashion) and entertainment, and we can carry all of that processing power around in our pockets.

But my Galaxy is SO awesome that I've become addicted to it. And I'm not even kidding. I am unable to just sit and do nothing. If I'm stopped at a traffic light, for example, I instinctively grab for my phone. Maybe an email has arrived in the 17 seconds since I last checked it, AND I MUST ANSWER IT RIGHT NOW.

This inability to just be, to just exist, is alarming. Must I be constantly stimulated? Must I be made aware of every news story, big and small, in the 60 seconds after it happens? Must I finish that game of online cribbage before proceeding through the intersection?

Apparently the answers are yes, yes, and most certainly yes.

That last point bears some explanation. I have a cribbage app on my phone that I play constantly. Like, all the time. According to the statistics the app maintains, I have played 2,955 games of electronic cribbage since I bought this phone in October 2013. That's an average of nearly seven games every day. Every. Day. Seven games. Of virtual cribbage.

I shouldn't even mention this, but I'll tell you that many of those games have been played while standing at the urinal at work. And suffice it to say that I'm very good at multi-tasking in these instances, if you catch my drift.

Why? Why can't I just do the one thing for which the urinal is designed, wash my hands and walk out of the bathroom without also engaging in a simultaneous game of cribbage? Or checking my email? Or crushing some poor sap in Trivia Crack? Why?

I don't know the answer. All I know is that in the past year or two, I've lost the ability to be still. I must constantly be doing something. Just sitting and thinking? That's for analog losers. I will be productive and/or entertained during all waking moments. Welcome to the 21st century, ladies and gentlemen!

This, by the way, is why so many of us panic when our phone batteries start running low. "My phone is dying! My phone is dying! Somebody get me a charger and a wall outlet, STAT! MY PHONE IS DYING!" We're addicts, plain and simple.

Did you ever see that movie "Wall-E," which portrays a future in which people no longer walk around or even stand? Instead, they sit on floating platforms and spend their days eating and staring at holographic computer screens. I'm already well on my way to that type of existence.

By the time the Galaxy S7 comes out, I'll weigh 550 pounds and will be confined to my room. But man, there's no doubt I'll also be the online cribbage champion of the world. And there's something to be said for that.


  1. I agree 100% with the sentiment of this article - and, sadly - suffer from the same affliction.

    However, that all pales in comparison to the absolute, by-a-mile best thing about this post: the "urinal" tag at the bottom. I will be laughing about this for the rest of the day.

    I thank you, my friend!

  2. Those tags/keywords baffle me. I never know what I'm supposed to do with them, so I just put stuff in there that amuses me. I'm glad it's finally benefiting someone else!