The Chaos Theory of Social Media

Greetings from Northern Nevada!

We’re headed for some beautiful weather the remainder of the week, and there is much to look forward to in the Biggest Little City in the World.

Today’s post is inspired by some interesting social media articles and pieces of information that have come my way in the past few days. It’s also been prompted by severe lack of attention on my part in both my personal and professional life.

The first area that prompted me was an article sent to me via snail-mail *gasp* by my mother. Still Point of a Turning World by Mindy Belz shares her struggles with concentration, even though she is a communications expert and book editor. A seemingly simple task of reading a short professional paper has become a daunting and taxing activity! As a society, we’re quickly losing the ability to think for ourselves. Benz also mentions Stephen Carr’s The Shallows, and how our reliance on the Internet destroys our ability to concentrate! Interruptions are only the beginning as we slowly train our minds to extract pieces of information instantly from the web, and then forget them just as quickly.

The second area of prompting was an interesting post that came flying through my Twitter feed. A link to 10 Animals With More Social Media Fans Than Major Media Outlets was sent to me, and although amusing, it got me wondering what value our society is placing on social media and interconnectedness. What’s the point of animals (who can’t respond or “connect” with us whatsoever) having social objects out in cyberspace? I understand the value of social media as a human, but it seems meaningless and unremarkable for these other purposes. Another great example is my friend’s Facebook page for his pet rabbit, Demi Bunny. Hmm…

The final area, and certainly the most depressing and personal for me, is my inability to get through an entire issue of The Economist without becoming distracted, losing interest, or just quickly skimming headlines. It is one of the most succinct and well-written publications I’ve ever read, and gives me a wonderful picture of the world at large. However, my brain can barely get through 5 minutes of reading, let alone taking an hour during lunch to cover the most interesting articles. Even my concentration when engaging in conversations with friends is waning. Not a good sign for the future of our society!

It's so true...

Surprisingly, the Internet Distraction Syndrome (no, that isn’t official) has not leaked into my training life…yet. Fortunately, I don’t rely on the web to do my triathlon training for me, although it is an amazing resource for training ideas and videos.

What do you do to get your mind “back on track” when it begins to wander?

Picture credit. Picture credit 2.

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