Online A.D.H.D. (Purposeful Web 2.0 Browsing for the Ritalin Generation)

It seems like everyone has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”) these days (even though it only affects about 5% of the population).  Our shortening attention spans are not helped in a Web 2.0 world where we are twittered down to 140 character status updates and keep connected with RSS feeds.  As someone whose therapist has given him a bona fide diagonsis as “an adult with ADHD who has learned to compensate” I find that focusing online is very tough.  I want to click this, search for that, keep 10 tabs open in my browser, while my Nambu or Tweetdeck (depending on what OS I’m using that day b/c I can’t just have one computer running) has multiple searches active.

Time to focus.  Here are some strategies I have thought of that make web 2.0 browsing a bit more focused:

  1. Have a short list of goals for each online session: (post 1 blog, fix up Picassa, and check Gmail)
  2. Make time limits: (I will finish by 11:30 pm tonight)
  3. Have a steady time to do certain repeating tasks (post a blog & check social network aggregators at lunch)
  4. Aggregators, aggregators, aggregators (Google Reader for RSS, Eventbox when on Mac) – finding the best aggregator that takes headlines from multiple sites & put them in one place
  5. Choose sides: I feel like I am always jumping onto something new to make my life easier (delicious, readit, or my favorite: digg) – rather than jumping to new tek to be in the now (thanks Ram Daas), find ones that you like and stick to them unless a good reason to change presents itself
  6. If your head starts to feel warm and tingly, go for a walk

What suggestions do you have to avoid aimless impulse browsing?


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Filed under Commentary and Critiques, Technology, Uncategorized

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