Continuous Partial Attention

Written by on December 11, 2005 in Editorial

We live in an age of information explosion. In the 1960s, we had only three major television networks. Today with cable, satellite and internet options, we can tune into one of several million channels anytime. Many of us watch TV and surf the web at the same time; and with TiVo and podcasts we can now timeshift our media to suit our schedules.

With all our timesaving, multitasking technologies, you would think that our lives would be more enriched, and that we’d feel more at peace. Yet these technologies: email, cell phones, and instant messaging all serve to fragment our attention. Psychologists call this “continuous partial attention.” It’s the way in which we pretend to be fully present in a meeting or a conversation while we’re monitoring our cell phone or Blackberry for new voicemail or email.

Continuous partial attention is mutually exclusive with being completely focused in the present moment. One is either fully present or not. Glancing at one’s cell phone messages, and even thinking about one’s voicemail pulls one’s attention from real-time, real-world interactions, such as face-to-face conversations, meetings, seminars, or a solitary walk in the park. In the world of information overload, attention becomes a precious resource; one that cannot be manufactured. Genius, defined as the ability to concentrate single-mindedly on a topic until all its possibilities have been exhausted, represents attention in its purest form—focused and laser-like. When we become fully engaged, we lose ourselves in the moment. This higher state of awareness, some call “the flow”, has become rare and precious in a world on continuous interruption from pagers, cell phones, and text messages.

How we choose to use these tools will make the difference between life enhancement and life enslavement. Our most important messages come from a timeless now that we call intuition. Keep an open channel on this conduit to your higher knowing and you’ll receive your most important messages—messages that guide and support you in creating your life.

Warm regards,
Tony Cecala, Ph.D.

About Tony Cecala

Tony is a business strategist. He publishes the Holistic Networker and produces the Wellness Expo. In his spare time he reads about technology and the mind.


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About the Author

About the Author:

Tony is a business strategist. He publishes the Holistic Networker and produces the Wellness Expo. In his spare time he reads about technology and the mind.

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