Deep vs. Hyper Attention

“AD/HD might more appropriately be named the ‘search for
stimulation’ disorder.” (190)

I try not to make my whole personality about my ADD, because I know a lot of people who do and it annoys the hell out of me. Like we get it, you just got your medication, I’m happy for you, but we don’t have to talk about it all the time. The section that the author brings up about AD/HD is very interesting and true however. The quote above really encapsulates what it is like to live with AD/HD. You’re constantly looking for instant gratification in forms of short bursts of dopamine, whether that be scrolling on TikTok, texting lots of people at once, or doing twenty different things simultaneously. You can’t focus on anything if it doesn’t fulfill your stimulation, which is why students with AD/HD tend to struggle in school since homework assignments can seem pointless at times. For me right now, I’m writing this blog while listening to a classical study music playlist on Spotify. It helps me focus while my hearing is stimulated because if I don’t then I’ll start to think about different things and get distracted from my schoolwork. Hayles also mentions how more and more young people are being affected by the media they consume, leading to AD/HD habits built in the brain. Lots of my friends have developed this, and some have even been prescribed medication for their struggles in school, yet choose not to take it. They never struggled with school before, but now they are. I think that COVID could have impacted this, since more young people are addicted to their phones and the social media apps that are on it more than ever. These apps rewire your dopamine receptors to always seek stimulation to keep you on their app, so of course kids are going to have trouble focusing in school.

I believe that hyper attention in media is essential to success in media. Multimedia, hyperlinks, and engagement is all crucial to the business of digital publishing, especially social media. But if it’s referring to only text based mediums, I’m not sure it will apply. One thing that may occur would be a decrease of a market for those mediums, since more people are flocking to hyper-attention mediums and platforms.

If we put hyper-attention aspects in traditional books, it will take away from the traditional reader’s experience. For some today, it could make a book more readable, since it would be more stimulating. But for traditional readers, a switch in the medium to include multimedia, hyperlinks, and engagement aspects would not be wanted.

For myself, I have an in browser extension that reads your page like text-to-speech. It helps me comprehend whatever I’m reading even more, and helps me not get as distracted.

Digital books for my college courses have been interesting so far. The online textbooks usually have good built in features like search, a table of contents side menu, hovering over certain words will give you their definition, etc. Those can help a good amount when you are trying to read a big chapter. Including videos can also be a good idea for digital books to try, that way you can have a break from reading a focus on the video, almost like a break.



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