Author Topic: Attention  (Read 2052 times)

Dave Benke

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Re: Attention
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2019, 01:03:10 PM »
Peter wrote:

"But in addition to making a lot of good things possible, social media enables and encourages a much more shallow interaction with the world of abstract ideas and the world of flesh and blood people. There is no lack of evidence to support that conclusion, though I can't really cite it relevantly without providing a lot of background, but I do recommend you look into it. Being on social media, even just every now and then, affects your mind's ability to focus even in the hours you're not using social media. It trains your brain to flit rather than delve, and your brain keeps up that habit in every area of life. A fair number of studies corroborate this phenomenon."

As a researcher and editor for about 18 years, I would say flit and delve are both skills for looking at information. If a reader is all one without the other, that reader will miss a lot that is important. Much of my "reading" now is of people and both skills are again needed. You have to be able to work a room efficiently and sit to listen intently with Law and Gospel discernment.


Ah, but do the studies show causation or just correlation? Just because many people on social media flit rather than delve, it could be that the social media users are natural flitters.
They show causation. People become more of the "flitter" type the more they use social media.
\
From Psychology Today, demonstrating the disorder we are calling "flitting:"

The Internet and particularly the smartphone appear to hamper our ability to manage and balance time, energy, and attention—and they can be addictive. Ease of access, disinhibition, content stimulation, time distortion (dissociation), perceived anonymity, as well powerful activation of neurobiological reward pathways in the mesolimbic system and prefrontal cortex, all contribute to the powerful psychoactive impact of the Internet.

Essentially, the Internet and the smartphone (which is essentially a traveling Internet portal) become what might be described as the “world’s largest slot machine,” as the entire Internet operates on a variable ratio reinforcement schedule of neurobiological reinforcement; when you go online you never quite know what you are going to get, when you are going to get it, and how desirable/salient (pleasurable) the content will be. This is how a slot machine works. It is the unpredictability that keeps our brains tuned-in and when we get that “reward." In whatever digital form we find pleasurable, we receive small elevations of dopamine


I think limiting the discussion to Facebook is problematic.  It's the whole system we're now in that is disabling us, as the article points out.  It's one thing to give up Facebook for a season.  But do not mess with my smartphone.  Seriously.  I need that.  And I need to look at it now - there may be a message.  I need some dopamine.  Thank you, smartphone.  I get very little dopamine from the ALPB Forum. 

Dave Benke

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Attention
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2019, 02:06:40 PM »
From Psychology Today, demonstrating the disorder we are calling "flitting:"

The Internet and particularly the smartphone appear to hamper our ability to manage and balance time, energy, and attention—and they can be addictive. Ease of access, disinhibition, content stimulation, time distortion (dissociation), perceived anonymity, as well powerful activation of neurobiological reward pathways in the mesolimbic system and prefrontal cortex, all contribute to the powerful psychoactive impact of the Internet.

Essentially, the Internet and the smartphone (which is essentially a traveling Internet portal) become what might be described as the “world’s largest slot machine,” as the entire Internet operates on a variable ratio reinforcement schedule of neurobiological reinforcement; when you go online you never quite know what you are going to get, when you are going to get it, and how desirable/salient (pleasurable) the content will be. This is how a slot machine works. It is the unpredictability that keeps our brains tuned-in and when we get that “reward." In whatever digital form we find pleasurable, we receive small elevations of dopamine


I think limiting the discussion to Facebook is problematic.  It's the whole system we're now in that is disabling us, as the article points out.  It's one thing to give up Facebook for a season.  But do not mess with my smartphone.  Seriously.  I need that.  And I need to look at it now - there may be a message.  I need some dopamine.  Thank you, smartphone.  I get very little dopamine from the ALPB Forum. 


When I log on to ALPB Forum, I don't know what I'm going to get. I don't know how pleasurable reading the posts will be.


Having lived in a number of remote areas with almost no opportunities for theological discussions, the internet for almost 30 years (starting with ecunet and a dial-up modem) has been a way to have such discussions.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

peter_speckhard

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Re: Attention
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2019, 02:25:09 PM »
Peter wrote:

"But in addition to making a lot of good things possible, social media enables and encourages a much more shallow interaction with the world of abstract ideas and the world of flesh and blood people. There is no lack of evidence to support that conclusion, though I can't really cite it relevantly without providing a lot of background, but I do recommend you look into it. Being on social media, even just every now and then, affects your mind's ability to focus even in the hours you're not using social media. It trains your brain to flit rather than delve, and your brain keeps up that habit in every area of life. A fair number of studies corroborate this phenomenon."

As a researcher and editor for about 18 years, I would say flit and delve are both skills for looking at information. If a reader is all one without the other, that reader will miss a lot that is important. Much of my "reading" now is of people and both skills are again needed. You have to be able to work a room efficiently and sit to listen intently with Law and Gospel discernment.


Ah, but do the studies show causation or just correlation? Just because many people on social media flit rather than delve, it could be that the social media users are natural flitters.
They show causation. People become more of the "flitter" type the more they use social media.
\
From Psychology Today, demonstrating the disorder we are calling "flitting:"

The Internet and particularly the smartphone appear to hamper our ability to manage and balance time, energy, and attention—and they can be addictive. Ease of access, disinhibition, content stimulation, time distortion (dissociation), perceived anonymity, as well powerful activation of neurobiological reward pathways in the mesolimbic system and prefrontal cortex, all contribute to the powerful psychoactive impact of the Internet.

Essentially, the Internet and the smartphone (which is essentially a traveling Internet portal) become what might be described as the “world’s largest slot machine,” as the entire Internet operates on a variable ratio reinforcement schedule of neurobiological reinforcement; when you go online you never quite know what you are going to get, when you are going to get it, and how desirable/salient (pleasurable) the content will be. This is how a slot machine works. It is the unpredictability that keeps our brains tuned-in and when we get that “reward." In whatever digital form we find pleasurable, we receive small elevations of dopamine


I think limiting the discussion to Facebook is problematic.  It's the whole system we're now in that is disabling us, as the article points out.  It's one thing to give up Facebook for a season.  But do not mess with my smartphone.  Seriously.  I need that.  And I need to look at it now - there may be a message.  I need some dopamine.  Thank you, smartphone.  I get very little dopamine from the ALPB Forum. 

Dave Benke
Correct, and only one of many studies and articles making the same point. Also correct that this is the world we live in, and it has many, many positive things to offer. Being aware of it and learning to manage it effectively is the key, and part of what I'm hoping this forum takes into account.

Charles writes upstream: I do not believe you can simply declare "this is going to be a serious academic journal" and have it happen.

I respond: I'm not trying to make it into an academic journal, I'm trying to make it a better, more thoughtful and profound internet discussion forum.

What I can declare (and there is nothing anyone can do about it) is what kind of forum I will devote my time to. Since I'm one of the moderators here I'm trying to make this into one such forum. If I can't, so be it. I'll lump this forum in with the hundred million or so other internet discussions I routinely ignore and give up the moderator position to someone who really appreciates pointless jabber.

My original post asked for voluntary participation in one modest change, which was to evaluate each post and try to make it something that would be worth reading if read in isolation. I'm not sure why you think the stuff I'm trying to eliminate is so important to keep, or why you object to the voluntary things I proposed, but again, so be it. I think most people seem to be more or less on board.

On another thread recently someone made a typo and someone else corrected it with a little joke. No harm, no foul. It wasn't a nasty exchange or anything that sidetracked the discussion. So I left it there despite the fact that neither post could withstand the weight of being a worthwhile stand-alone post. It added a little personality and spice. But if I had decided to delete those posts, would it really have ruined anything? Did anything important depend on those posts being there? Not really. If I had deleted them before someone noticed you could hardly make the case they missed something they really would have been better off seeing. What I want  is for someone who sits down for an hour to read this forum thinks of it as an edifying, substantive hour well spent rather than an hour killed with amusement and distraction.

Dave Benke

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Re: Attention
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2019, 02:37:42 PM »
Peter wrote:

"But in addition to making a lot of good things possible, social media enables and encourages a much more shallow interaction with the world of abstract ideas and the world of flesh and blood people. There is no lack of evidence to support that conclusion, though I can't really cite it relevantly without providing a lot of background, but I do recommend you look into it. Being on social media, even just every now and then, affects your mind's ability to focus even in the hours you're not using social media. It trains your brain to flit rather than delve, and your brain keeps up that habit in every area of life. A fair number of studies corroborate this phenomenon."

As a researcher and editor for about 18 years, I would say flit and delve are both skills for looking at information. If a reader is all one without the other, that reader will miss a lot that is important. Much of my "reading" now is of people and both skills are again needed. You have to be able to work a room efficiently and sit to listen intently with Law and Gospel discernment.


Ah, but do the studies show causation or just correlation? Just because many people on social media flit rather than delve, it could be that the social media users are natural flitters.
They show causation. People become more of the "flitter" type the more they use social media.
\
From Psychology Today, demonstrating the disorder we are calling "flitting:"

The Internet and particularly the smartphone appear to hamper our ability to manage and balance time, energy, and attention—and they can be addictive. Ease of access, disinhibition, content stimulation, time distortion (dissociation), perceived anonymity, as well powerful activation of neurobiological reward pathways in the mesolimbic system and prefrontal cortex, all contribute to the powerful psychoactive impact of the Internet.

Essentially, the Internet and the smartphone (which is essentially a traveling Internet portal) become what might be described as the “world’s largest slot machine,” as the entire Internet operates on a variable ratio reinforcement schedule of neurobiological reinforcement; when you go online you never quite know what you are going to get, when you are going to get it, and how desirable/salient (pleasurable) the content will be. This is how a slot machine works. It is the unpredictability that keeps our brains tuned-in and when we get that “reward." In whatever digital form we find pleasurable, we receive small elevations of dopamine


I think limiting the discussion to Facebook is problematic.  It's the whole system we're now in that is disabling us, as the article points out.  It's one thing to give up Facebook for a season.  But do not mess with my smartphone.  Seriously.  I need that.  And I need to look at it now - there may be a message.  I need some dopamine.  Thank you, smartphone.  I get very little dopamine from the ALPB Forum. 

Dave Benke
Correct, and only one of many studies and articles making the same point. Also correct that this is the world we live in, and it has many, many positive things to offer. Being aware of it and learning to manage it effectively is the key, and part of what I'm hoping this forum takes into account.

Charles writes upstream: I do not believe you can simply declare "this is going to be a serious academic journal" and have it happen.

I respond: I'm not trying to make it into an academic journal, I'm trying to make it a better, more thoughtful and profound internet discussion forum.

What I can declare (and there is nothing anyone can do about it) is what kind of forum I will devote my time to. Since I'm one of the moderators here I'm trying to make this into one such forum. If I can't, so be it. I'll lump this forum in with the hundred million or so other internet discussions I routinely ignore and give up the moderator position to someone who really appreciates pointless jabber.

My original post asked for voluntary participation in one modest change, which was to evaluate each post and try to make it something that would be worth reading if read in isolation. I'm not sure why you think the stuff I'm trying to eliminate is so important to keep, or why you object to the voluntary things I proposed, but again, so be it. I think most people seem to be more or less on board.

On another thread recently someone made a typo and someone else corrected it with a little joke. No harm, no foul. It wasn't a nasty exchange or anything that sidetracked the discussion. So I left it there despite the fact that neither post could withstand the weight of being a worthwhile stand-alone post. It added a little personality and spice. But if I had decided to delete those posts, would it really have ruined anything? Did anything important depend on those posts being there? Not really. If I had deleted them before someone noticed you could hardly make the case they missed something they really would have been better off seeing. What I want  is for someone who sits down for an hour to read this forum thinks of it as an edifying, substantive hour well spent rather than an hour killed with amusement and distraction.

You're right.  But in the specific case mentioned, unwitting readers would have possibly misplaced a Hindu thematic - Great Mandala - for a Nobel Peace Prize recipient - Nelson Mandela.  What might work (OK, I don't really think so, but might), is more and better use of the "private message" button, instead of the public message.  The way it works for me is that I only kill time here when I think I have time to kill.  Sometimes human frailty gets in there and I'm interacting here while real people get ignored.  Thankfully, I'm in a Caribbean basin congregation, where others in the church office throw things at me from time to time to keep me on point.  The direct approach - still time-tested.

Dave Benke

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Re: Attention
« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2019, 03:02:09 PM »
I take part in several real life, face to face groups - book discussions, a Bible study, a language class, a TED talk discussion, a couple of others - and each is different. Sometimes I don’t think I “get anything” from a particular hour. But I might be wrong about that. Am I “wasting” time?
Sometimes I am not thrilled with the contributions of a member. So what? Should I not go or have that person banned for being low on brain power or a jerk? Maybe that person will learn something and be better next time. Or next year.
And sometimes I just need to be in a particular group because it is part of my routine or because I might “get something” from it or have a chance to say something that might be helpful.
Groups - online or real life - are organisms, not machines. You cannot say “you are a toaster” and thereby declare that a group will never bake brownies or burn the toast.


Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Twice-vaccinated.