The Hallowed Glow of Digital Distraction

The brain’s craving for novelty, constant stimulation and immediate gratification creates something called a “compulsion loop.” Like lab rats and drug addicts, we need more and more to get the same effect.

Endless access to new information also easily overloads our working memory. When we reach cognitive overload, our ability to transfer learning to long-term memory significantly deteriorates. It’s as if our brain has become a full cup of water and anything more poured into it starts to spill out.

I’ve known all of this for a long time. I started writing about it 20 years ago. I teach it to clients every day. I just never really believed it could become so true of me.

The first step in progress is acceptance. From Addicted to Distraction from the NY Times. 1

  1. Yes, I posted this in the middle of the day, at work, where I should be doing other things.

David Letterman and 33 Years of Experience

“I don’t know that we ever did get back the right way. It didn’t start to settle down until it couldn’t be more clear that Jay was the more popular show. And when we all realized that there’s not much we can do here — you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube — then we started going our own way again. I think it was just inevitability. The guy in the race who spends more time looking over his shoulder, well, that’s the mistake. For two years, I made that mistake. We ran out of steam.”

From the New York Time’s interview with David Letterman as he reflects on his career. I enjoy reading stories of folks who are older and more experienced than I. They often have so much good advice and unique perspectives. Letterman is no exception.