Posted by: emmajoyce | November 26, 2012

Our Brains on Life: Distracted

After reading Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows, I have begun to more closely examine not only the inner-workings of my own brain on the Internet, but, more broadly, in life. This was all too apparent yesterday as I attempted to work on my final term paper. While waiting for a bus, I called my sister who informed me I had to e-mail my mother pictures for a Christmas card. I hopped on the bus, and then hopped off at a bagel shop where I wanted to do work. This shop turned out to be closed, so I proceeded to another coffee shop, at which point I realized I had the wrong computer for e-mailing those photos. I packed up and headed out to run another errand, when a poster in Powell’s window display caught my eye. I walked in, found myself browsing through the store’s many levels and left with a bag full of birthday and Christmas gifts.

Long story short: I take roundabout ways. I don’t literally walk from Point A to Point B. I become distracted by advertisements and people and circumstances. Why should I expect anything different on the Internet? Carr points out, “there is no Sleepy Hollow on the Internet, no peaceful spot where contemplativeness can work its restorative magic. There is only the endless, mesmerizing buzz of the urban street” (220). What similarities to you see between your online and offline lives?

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