Human Focus

Published 2019-01-01


Today, I am writing about something that is not new. I have sensed a general larger concern on sites like hackernews, my mentors, and others. If I had to summarize the general concern, it is something like this. 

Humans have lost their ability to focus on long-form styles of communication due to the rise of short term substitutes

I personally have that same fear and I want to flesh out a little bit why. Don’t get me wrong, I am not gonna go on about how Facebook is evil and you must delete all your email accounts or anything like that, that defiantly isn’t the answer. I just want to express my general feeling about the topic of “Human Focus” and what it means to me in the upcoming year.

Damaging Media

My frustration is primarily with forms of media that have the same general properties:

I am incredibly guilty of wasting a couple hours away on Reddit and hackernews, which honestly is something I am okay with, but I don’t plan to do it. I know if I was going to be intentional with how I spent my time, I wouldn’t do that nearly as much as I do. Taking a break is good, but I would like to learn to actually fully stop work, decide to play some video games, and really relax. I know that is a better solution then aimlessly wandering around the internet.  

The media I am going to try to consume in 2019 hopefully contain more of these properties:

Personal Convictions

I could talk more about issues I currently have in the content I am consuming. I check my Email too much. I find Reddit and hackernews to addictive. I spend too much time reading headlines instead of trying to actually understand a topic. I struggle to read academic papers, a skill I really want to develop. I find it hard to focus on books that cover difficult material. 

This upcoming year I going to theme as a “A Year of Focus”. I am not sure exactly what all of this means, but there are some solid things I can think of to consider it a success