Paying Attention to Your Own Attention

By on


Print, or PC? Clive Thompson, in chapter one of Smarter Than You Think, “The Rise of the Centaurs,” notes the implications of choices we inevitably face when encountering advanced technology in higher seminaries of learning like Clemson, and emphasizes the importance of introspection in the process. Thompson tells readers that “paying attention to your own attention” (14) is a must when deciding whether, for example, to accomplish long reading assignments on a computer carrying elevated distractions, or to read it in paper form without the helpful tools of technology.

Citing the hoopla around neuroscience as a way to study the brain’s workings during various tasks, Thompson advises people to step back from a field still in its elementary stages and instead simply study your own brain, to an extent, in order to be “mindful” of the scenarios in which it is and is not best to use the wealth of digital tools currently offered.

Coming from a person who can revert from intensive focus on a reading assignment to mindlessly scrolling Twitter at a moment’s notice, Thompson personally spoke to me with his spotlight on remaining mindful of the technological reading methods we use today.

Smarter Than You Think Paperback Cover


KindleMac Computer


kpyfrom's picture

I loved your post! I did my

I loved your post! I did my blog on memory and it made me think about how the brains works with memory. It is all so very connected and fascinating. The brain and memory are very complex, and I love researching how they work!. Keep up the great work!

maisyjoe's picture

Technological Reading Methods

I really enjoyed your blog post! I found that I actually skimmed that section when I feel like I should have paid closer attention to it. I tend to remain steadfast to reading only in print and not so much in more digital forms. I tend to segregate the way that I use different things to learn. I never read on Kindle or PDF but I think it is because I don't realize how much more readily available these other methods are.

LBark94's picture

Great connections!

Hey Gavin,
This is a great way to connect the reading to your own life experiences. I too identified with the part about being involved with technology in a way that sometimes causes me trouble with staying attentive to my reading/work.
Larissa Barkley