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Could you be suffering from DAD? ... (& not even know what it is!)

 
 
msolga
 
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 06:20 pm
Quote:
9 February 2011 Last updated at 14:51 GMT
Divided Attention Disorder? Log off and read a book
By Colm O'Regan Comedian and writer

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/51174000/jpg/_51174127_laptopman_think304.jpg
Man with head buried in laptop DAD - a syndrome whereby you find yourself flipping from one thing to another on your computer

If you work in an office it's quite possible that you suffer from a condition called DAD. Now don't panic it's not serious and nothing a good book or a long walk won't cure.

My Internet browser has 24 tabs open. Among them are three separate attempts to reply to the same e-mail. My online banking session has timed out, and in the corner of my screen a Twitter feed is a never-ending scroll of news and links. Which I click. And click.

What's wrong with me?

What's wrong, is that I may have Divided Attention Disorder, or DAD. DAD encapsulates the growing phenomenon whereby the constant stream of online information could actually be changing the way our brains work.

I first read about this in a magazine while waiting to get my hair cut. The article is quite lengthy. Ironically the only reason I had the attention span to read all of it was that my local barber-shop has no mobile phone reception.

Concentration eroded

It wasn't always like this. There was a time when I browsed - or lived as we used to call it - my life in just one tab. I remember when I first started working. I was given tasks to do one at a time. And they were completed - one at a time. With no distractions.

My bosses were pleased. As a reward I was given more responsibility. More responsibility means many things, but most of all it means more e-mails. Previously, new messages arrived occasionally. I could even leave the new e-mail ping turned on.

But when I became more responsible, they poured in so quickly, it sounded like I had a pedestrian traffic light under my desk.

Several years of this kind of pattern has left my ability to concentrate eroded. In my current work as a comedian and freelance writer, I get fewer e-mails. When you have no boss, fewer things are your fault.

But I do have to look for inspiration and often research it online. With my enfeebled attention span this can be a fractious and unsatisfying experience of unfinished searches and trails gone cold, while out of the corner of my eye social networking updates whirr away.
Room with lots of books To assess the state of your brain, see if you can get lost in a good book

It's the equivalent of sitting on the floor of a library desperately trying to remember what I was looking for with 20 books open around me, unable to concentrate because people keep giving me a thumbs up to tell me they "Like This".

'Google the plot'

The most unnerving thing that I've read about DAD is the theory that the rewiring of our brains caused by all that time online is affecting the rest of our lives. It is, apparently, encouraging us to seek instant gratification at the expense of deep thinking.

To assess the state of my brain I read a book. It's an Ian Rankin novel. The hero, Inspector Rebus attempts to solve a number of murders in Edinburgh against the backdrop of a G8 meeting.

I haven't read fiction in a while. Something has changed about my response to what I'm reading. Before, I loved to create a mental picture of Edinburgh, of its streets and courtyards. But now in my brain a voice is whispering: "Look it up on StreetView and see for yourself". The story alludes to Inspector Rebus' colourful past: "Google the plot of other books," says the voice.

"SHUT UP!" I scream inside my head.

Eventually, my old brain wins out. After about half an hour, I'm lost in the book. I've forgotten that it's even possible to communicate through a web of interconnected computers.

It's a relief to know that my brain is not permanently changed. I can't wait to tell everyone - on Facebook and Twitter.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12406677
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 06:22 pm
@msolga,
Quote:
The most unnerving thing that I've read about DAD is the theory that the rewiring of our brains caused by all that time online is affecting the rest of our lives. It is, apparently, encouraging us to seek instant gratification at the expense of deep thinking.


UhOh!

(Just reading about the symptoms here.)

Quote:
What's wrong with me?

What's wrong, is that I may have Divided Attention Disorder, or DAD. DAD encapsulates the growing phenomenon whereby the constant stream of online information could actually be changing the way our brains work.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 06:41 pm
Quote:
...a syndrome whereby you find yourself flipping from one thing to another on your computer.


Yup, I think I have it!
(And I'll bet a few of you do, too, but you're not telling!)

I mean, who many different news/commentary sites about the one event are necessary, really, to gain a decent insight?

I figure most people would only require 2, maybe 3?
So why 15, I ask myself?
Why this endless Googling?

More importantly, what is the cure for this syndrome?
Could it become a permanent affliction?







0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 06:48 pm
Oh, Jesus wept. As though there weren't enough alleged syndromes as it is. Yes, i suffer from all of them--DAD, ADHAD, MS, MD, PDQ, ROTFL . . . you name it, i got it . . .
littlek
 
  4  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 06:51 pm
I seem to have mild DAD. Or maybe it's just IHNL (I have no life).
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:03 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
Yes, i suffer from all of them--DAD, ADHAD, MS, MD, PDQ, ROTFL . . . you name it, i got it . . .


Oh I'm certain I do, too! Very Happy

You do realize this is humour, not dead serious, Setanta?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:05 pm
@littlek,
Quote:
I seem to have mild DAD. Or maybe it's just IHNL (I have no life).

That could be the solution, k!
If we got a life we might cure our DAD! Razz
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:05 pm
@msolga,
By golly I think I might try that!
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:28 pm
I suffer from "My internet provider deliberately slows down the access speed to certain websites" so I open numerous tabs to read as I'm waiting for other slower ones to finish loading.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:30 pm
@Butrflynet,
Early stages of DAD, Butrflynet.
No doubt about it!

0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:34 pm
@Butrflynet,
Quote:
It wasn't always like this. There was a time when I browsed - or lived as we used to call it - my life in just one tab.

Can you remember those simpler, gentler days, Butrflynet? Smile
Sigh.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:36 pm
@msolga,
Things I read in the newspapers I follow and on some a2k threads do get me thinking; there are some incisive arguments here, at least once in a while. My bigger problem is that I like all that thinking and am getting lazier about other stuff. I read a lot too, and think about that. Luckily occupations like weeding the yard can be 'mindless' and pleasant.

Mindless occupations 'R' us. (Well, not until it gets warmer out there.)
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:38 pm
@msolga,
You did realize that my response was an attempt a humor, too?
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:38 pm
@Butrflynet,
MIPDSD...

why, that's terrible!
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:40 pm
@ossobuco,
Isn't it though?
But at least it's not DAD ... yet!
There is hope!

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 07:48 pm
@Setanta,
Well I do now, Setanta ..
It was the cunning "Jesus wept" part at the beginning which totally distracted me from the true meaning of your post.
I blame DAD for my confusion ... the inability to concentrate & all ...
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 08:02 pm
@msolga,
I'm sorry, i don't know what you're referring to . . . but then, i was playing Farmville and watching a youtube video i linked to a thread here, while playing mah jong . . .
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 08:05 pm
@Setanta,
Hmmmm ...
Advanced stages, Setanta.
It may be too late for you to even consider a cure!
laughoutlood
 
  3  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 08:20 pm
I have a bad case of Undivided Attention Disorder but I'm keeping MUM about it

Multiple Unopened Missives

Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 08:57 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Isn't it though?
But at least it's not DAD ... yet!
There is hope!




I didn't have to worry about DAD when he was alive. He had his own computer and internet access. Wink
0 Replies
 
 

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