Avoiding Attention Distractions

Katie Hafner writes a good article on the difficulties we have avoiding distractions when we use our computer. It’s so true! There are so many temptations and messages competing for our attention. I know I struggle with this—there’s always something new going on somewhere in my of my email/web accounts, and it takes tremendous self-restraint not to prioritize those above more difficult/time-consuming but ultimately higher-value projects.

Katie talks about some of the technological efforts to prioritize computer-delivered announcements and alerts. If these efforts have any hope of succeeding, they need to learn our behavior and intelligently parse through a message’s contents. These intelligence-based efforts are exactly the type of technological developments that are threatened by the current emotional overreaction to spam and adware.