Archives for: June 2005, 23


Permalink 09:49:05 am, by fumanchu Email , 282 words   English (US)
Categories: General

Continuous partial attention


Notes from a talk by Linda Stone

In 1997 I coined the phrase "continuous partial attention". For almost two decades, continuous partial attention has been a way of life to cope and keep up with responsibilities and relationships. We've stretched our attention bandwidth to upper limits. We think that if tech has a lot of bandwidth then we do, too.

Or, as Lister's Law states: "People under time pressure don't think faster".

One of the great things about a Mission Trip with Amor Ministries is the isolation. For over 25 years now, we've been working in communities without phones, without the 'Net, without email. It's been liberating, in the sense that people can step out of their "partial attention" mode and really pay attention to what's important. You want a "focus on the family"? Spend a week building a house in Mexico, so that 1) the children don't end up in orphanages, and 2) you'll be able to really focus on ministry for once in your life.

The recent increase of cell-phone coverage in the poor communities of Mexico will soon turn into full email, web, and GPS-plus-Google remixing, I'm sure. Part of me hopes that progress is glacial—I'd hate to lose focus.

Attention captured by marketing messages and leaders who give us a sense of trust, belonging in a meaningful way. Now we long for a quality of life that comes in meaningful connections to friends, colleagues, family that we experience with full-focus attention on relationships, etc.

Another strength of ours: building meaningful relationships. Hope we can find more and more ways to make those full-focus and meaningful...connected.

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