Monday, June 16, 2008

Nicholas Carr & Crashed Cars

I was relaxing on Father's Day reading the Atlantic (it's a magazine, in case you haven't seen print media in a while). The cover story, Is Google Making Us Stupid grabbed my attention. The author, Nicholas Carr points out that many people don't read and think the way they used to as a result of spending so much time on the Internet (scanning, skimming, and clicking off to something else). And he's right. It seems like no one reads the same way that they used to (Can you sit down and read a lengthy article or book without getting distracted by something else?). Does everyone have Attention Deficit Disorder now? Sometimes it feels that way.

Another article in the same edition of The Atlantic hit on a similar point. In Distracting Miss Daisy, John Staddon postulates that we're bad drivers in America (as compared with the UK) because there are so many street signs (not in our line of vision, but off to the side) and inconsistent road rules mixing us up. Again, attention is a core point of this article. He points out that if there were fewer signs and uniform rules (e.g. speed limits standardized based on the kind of road or highway you were on) we wouldn't crash our cars so much, and then say, "I didn't see him coming".

I found both articles fascinating and agree with much of what was said. It reminds me that overcoming short attention spans and distractions are probably a marketeers biggest challenge. Interestingly enough, The Atlantic got my attention with their choice of cover, highlighting the fact that using Google's logo and colors combined with a controversial supposition will always make me look: Image of The Atlantic's July Cover

No comments: