Can mobile phones / smart phones make us more spiritual? I asked myself this when I another question stuck my mind – has my ‘attention span’ reduced? This ‘attention span’ question is intriguing. What is the problem of attention span? Well, we lose interest in things happened yesterday. We may just ‘move on’ from any significant happening one hour back. The lack of attention span is blamed to the technology and in some cases to the smart mobile phones.
Before digging this topic further, attention span means – “the length of time for which a person is able to concentrate on a particular activity or subject (without being distracted)”. So in one way it is a problem that we lack concentration. What if we flip the coin and say that is a good thing – why not live in the present.
A case in point of the same is US presidential election. What I read in news is – whatever frivolous news comes in the forefront, becomes obsolete within few hours. The word ‘frivolous’ in previous sentence is calculated and selective because of the most talked about candidate in election. It is interesting that this ephemeral nature of the news or short attention span can be observed in twitter trends. Any breaking news stuff becomes “what was that?” after few hours. No one seems to care about any ethical question, event or comment. In no time we have a new entertainment (breaking news). The problem is such that grave questions are buried due to short attention span.
An example in Indian context – ‘Corruption’ was a huge point of discussion three years back. A political party came into existence due to the same. Apparently this party is not willing to take case of corruption seriously now – be it case against former CM of Delhi, CWG, talking about prominent political family or the political party or any other cases of corruption raised by the people associated with this new political party.
This seems to be true that technology has put us into a situation when we lose interest in everything happening around us in no time. I’m sure in future the duration of lose of interest will be few seconds – sooner or later. Since technology is growing at fast pace, ‘later’ is likely to happen soon, who knows?
Well does not it mean we – humans – will become more meditative? Because in meditation our effort is to be in present moment. Since, meditation is not ‘doing’ therefore will technology make us so helpless or so efficient that we will effortlessly be in the present moment?
Effectively, mobiles or the problem of attention span is a two way sword, isn’t it? It is upto us to maximize the utility from it. Would we or the next generation be monk with mobiles?
Image source – unknown old Google search.