What Was I Writing?
Chronic distraction —a self-inflicted malady—may seem comic, but it's deadly
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2008 4:39 PM CDT
iPhones.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – We all complain about the myriad distractions in the wired world, but Bryan Appleyard goes further in the Guardian: Distraction is not just annoying, it can kill you, and will be the downfall of democracy. “Chronic, long-term distraction” may be as deadly as smoking, and the habits of the contemporary, Googled-in human, “scanning and skimming, not pausing to think,” is killing the whole idea of an informed citizen.

"The computer is training us not to attend, to drown in the sea of information rather than to swim," he writes, cataloging the kinds of thought processes falling prey to disruption. Appleyard is not immune to technological temptation, but sees a dark future. “These things do make our lives easier, but only by destroying the very selves that should be protesting at every distraction, demanding peace, quiet and contemplation.”