Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ain't that America?

When considering many of the problems American society currently faces, a consistency exists that may lead us to believe that the predicament lies in taking normal everyday activities to an extreme. America's too fat, watches too much television, and is on too much medication. The larger problem seems to stem from the over-stimulated world our generation has grown up in.

Attention is defined as the cognitive system that allows preferential processing of relevant information while ignoring irrelevant information. This suggests that the brain must sift through tons of information and selectively choose what it wants to process. This filtering process becomes taxing and difficult when more distractions are readily available.

The computer has revolutionized our lives by providing us with the tools to research issues and become better informed citizens. It has also provided us with the tools to gain a lot of useless knowledge. Now, we internet surf as well as television surf. And spending hours indoors, glossy eyed in front of a screen saturated with distractions, seems to practically lend itself to the development of attention problems.

Time Magazine declared the grand "you" the person of the year, but from my experience, it seems that grand "we" have either become too distracted or too disillusioned by this overabundance of information online to care about the issues integral to our lives and this country.

Instead, we gorge on Ben and Jerry's, pop a Valium, and get lost in Flavor of Love marathons.

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