"The need for 'attention,' rather than 'hard work,' as the centerpiece of
the new work ethic has arisen along with the rise of distractions carried on the
wings of Internet protocol. In one generation, we've gone from a total
separation of 'work' from 'non-work' to one in which both work and play are
always sitting right in front of us.
Now, we find ourselves with absolutely nothing standing between us and
a universe of distractions -- nothing except our own abilities to control
attention. Porn, gambling, funny videos, flirting, socializing, playing games,
shopping -- it's all literally one click away. Making matters worse, indulging
these distractions looks just like work. And it's easy to work and play at the
same time -- and call it work. These new, increasingly compelling distractions
get piled on to older ones -- office pop-ins, e-mail, IM, text messages,
meetings and others.
Kids now grow up with the whole range of distractions, from big-screen
TVs to video games to cell phones to PCs in their rooms. They're addicted to
screens before they even start high school. Their attention spans have been
whittled down to seconds, and their expectations for constant amusement are
In a world in which entire industries bet their businesses
on gaining access to our attention, which value leads to better personal
success: hard work or the ability to control attention?"
Monday, January 05, 2009
InternetNews Realtime IT News - Work Ethic 2.0: Attention Control: