Saturday, 11 September 2010

Where has my attention span gone?

Here's an interesting study...I seem to be losing my attention span for movies. I never really had it in the first place when it came to television; I rarely sat down and just watched a TV show. I always had a load of laundry to fold, or something to sort or a book to read or puzzle to solve or dishes to do. But for goodness sake - I spent five years in film school! How on earth can I be losing my attention (and interest) in film?

Perhaps it is just that nothing really good is being made much anymore. Or, more to the point, nothing good is being made that I'm comfortable watching (something without a lot of violence, explicit sex, or vulgar language). I know a lot of the "Oscar" pics lately tend to be heavily loaded with these generally unnecessary aspects. But this wasn't meant to be a rant about the demoralization of Hollywood and society. I simply wanted to note that I don't seem have much desire to sit for two hours at a time and indulge in movies.

On my own, I tend to watch a film in three or four (or more!) chunks. And I now tend to do something else simultaneously. Now and then James and I will sit down for a film together, and he is much less tolerant of me turning on all the lights and adding distraction by occupying myself with other tasks.

Interestingly enough, my attention span for books has increased exponentially. If I actually had two hours of free time, I think I could spend the entire length reading a good book. I read a study recently that said that people who spend a lot of time immersed in media are shortening their attention span to perform other tasks, and generally don't enjoy reading because it demands the reader to fill in their own images. Perhaps if one (such as I) is engaging my own imagination so often in reading, my brain feels useless when sitting in front of the television, and therefore has no patience to be handed everything on a silver platter?

I also have one other terribly annoying habit, that is likely linked to my increased reading. I am a talker. I am that person that leans over in the movie theatre (it's been 9 months since I went to the movie theatre!) and whispers loudly to the person next to me. I am also that person that pauses a movie at home every 5 minutes with something deep and thought-provoking to add to the film. Or perhaps I have a topic of debate that pops into my mind, and it usually just comes out as I think of it. I find it really hard to passively watch something.

I seem to be powering through books like crazy, which is fun. Next to check out...our provincial online audiobook library. I was always terrible at retaining things I only heard orally, but since most radio drives me crazy (ah! I must be getting old!) I'm pondering turning to audiobooks as a new method to cram even more books into my brain. Poor brain. You are so good to me.

Now off to bed to read before going to sleep.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


It's funny you should write about this. Dad and I are watching a movie right now and I am also on the computer at the same time. I find it hard to watch tv or movies without doing something else at the same time, too. And yet, I can read for ages without stopping - the last two Saturdays, I have sat outside reading until my tummy told me to get up and eat. And then I went right back to reading afterwards - it was so delightful. :-)