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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Facebook and my dwindling attention span...

I haven't seen the movie but I read Still Alice a few weeks ago. You know the story. Julianne Moore plays a brilliant women who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and we see her losing it.

Is it just me or am I suffering from diminished recall? I'm 53, well-read, curious, a life-long learner who has always had the attention span of a fruit fly, but lately  it feels like something else. I'm having trouble holding a thought long enough for it to make to the shopping list or for me to get to the other end of the house to fetch whatever it was. Then, like someone looking for their lost keys, I try to retrace what I was thinking about in order to find the all important thingamajig.

The only thing besides being a year older is that my use of the Internet has changed in the last few months. Yup! I finally made a Facebook account.

 I've been active on the Internet ever since it was made available in my area over 20 years ago and I was an early adopter of Yahoo Mail, MSN messenger, Blogger, Twitter, FlickR, and YouTube.  My concentration was fine with these platforms. I'm hereby blaming Facebook for my dwindling attention span. Oh hold a sec, I need to see what's happening out there. Oh Look! I got 9 more likes and 3 comments. Ooooo! I'll be right back, gotta check my message thingy. A friend request! Do I know you? 

 Why is there such an urgency about Facebook? I admit it's a great way keeping up or connecting with long lost colleagues, old friends, new friends, other villagers,  ex-students, far flung family members I might have met at a family reunion when I was two, but even for "getting closer" to across the hall colleagues and my next door neighbour.

I joined FB this year because of my travel plans. A private group was created so that the ladies could get to know one another. We all hit it off so well that we've been connecting with likes and comments ever since we got back from Newfoundland. And for that I'm grateful. There are so many wonderful people out there and even across the street. But if I want any hope at all at recognizing you or to able to win trivia party games in 30 years,  I'm going to have to ration my Facebook use.

 A. I could limit the amount of time I'm on Facebook with a timer.
B. I could allow myself FB time on odd number dates on the calendar.
C. I could set a regular time for FB and make a disciplined part of my weekly routine like swimming laps.
D. I could go cold turkey and swear off it for a predetermined amount of time. 
E. I could allow myself in minutes the amount of laps I swim. For example, I currently swim 100 laps per week which would translate into 100 minutes a week. I can see myself heading to the pool just to get more FB time. 

Am I the only one out there struggling with dismissed concentration and Facebook sucking time that I could be doing "better" things like reading, music, art or face to face time with flesh and bones people? Don't get me wrong I love my FB tribe, but I'm looking for ways to get some balance back into my mornings and evenings and reclaim a few much needed brain cells so I can remember why I'm standing in the middle of the laundry room right now,
Let me know.