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Thirty Years

If I had to time travel thirty years into the past--which is within my own lifetime, mind you--I would not be able to fit in. If for no other reason (and there would be other reasons), I would seem incredibly hyperactive and attention deficit.

The question is, would I be able to shed all the multi-tasking, phone-checking, can't-sit-still behaviors I've developed just to keep up with this world? Could I sink with relief back into the slower pace?

Or would I be unable to assimilate? Would I move to New York and do one of those jobs everyone needed cocaine to keep on top of--but I probably wouldn't at this point? I have a feeling your average connected 20-something now is firing on more cylinders than a top exec of decades past--and all just to keep up with their social networks and obligations.

And that's not even adding in the layers and layers of stress-coping mechanisms I've developed in a day job whose pressures increase exponentially quarterly with no commensurate give anywhere. (This is a situation that the employed find themselves in a lot in this recession, I'm given to understand. This is also a widespread phenomenon.)

Bleah, she said as she tried to settle down and really focus on her manuscript.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 14th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
I have, a whole lot more than once, thought about how much we've lost by empowering ourselves with all the modern technology and higher density of living. I'm not saying it's a net-loss, mind you, but there's definitely been a huge cost.

What i spend some time thinking about now is how to truly make the advances work for me. I think about how to boil out the parts of the progress that make my life better while filtering out the parts that pull me down. I have no definitive answers yet, but i've already started small lifestyle decisions that i think are healthier for me. I'm sure each person has their own optimization point, tho.
Nov. 14th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
I suspect you would adjust. Humans are pretty good at that, and since no one else 30 years ago would be phone/email/social networking checking, you wouldn't be left behind.

I think about this frequently myself. Could I, for example, go cold-turkey on FB and still feel connected to my friends? What would I miss out on? And would what I miss be more than made up for what I gain? Could I train my internet-induced-ADD-self to only check my news, FB, LJ, and other stuff only once a day?

At work when I get to a tough part of a project the temptation to do something quick and easy, like check FB, is really strong. I've been forcing myself to stop and return to work. I hope if I do this frequently enough I can rebuild some ability to focus for longer time periods.

Multi-tasking is overrated. Studies show people are actually less efficient when they are "multi-tasking". So yeah, people are probably fireing more cylinders just to get the same work done.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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