The environment determines one’s level of paying attention. Both hyper and deep attentions have advantages over each other depending on the prevailing environmental situations. Some situations demand hyper attention, while others demand deep attention. In case of an air operator, hyper attention is a necessity, whereas in case of scientists, deep attention is inevitable. Although the environment has a role to play in shaping our attention style, there are other factors to consider. For example, age of the individuals in question and their mental capacity is of great importance. As for the young children, hyper attention is the most probable style, while deep attention is inevitable for adults. Children need high level stimuli, as opposed to adults, who just need normal stimuli. The technological advancement of the developed states has contributed to the high levels of hyper attention in children and young people. This has been caused by the technology based activities that the young people find themselves undertaking. The media contribute greatly to the attention styles employed by people. In the developed countries, children grow up in high media interactivity. Interaction with the TV, radio, computers and videos, dictates how an individual responds in terms of attention. Technology revolves all around media. Everything the youngsters listen to, watch, read and engage in, shape their attention style. According to Hayles, “subjective evidence from instructors whom I have spoken to at institutes of high learning throughout the country fortify that learners are tending for hyper attention, it is true that the young generation is losing track on deep attention and turning to hyper attention”.
Research has shown that the young people who prefer reading exhibit high deep attention, as opposed to their counterparts, who spend much time interacting with other types of media. Books and other written materials require more dedication in terms of attention than any other types of media. Understanding of the concept behind a story, a theory, or an ideology, calls for complete attentiveness hence breeding high levels of deep attention. It is logically not possible for an individual to engage in any other activity while going through a written document. Therefore, it reduces the tendency of multitasking in the young people. Every other type of media gives allowance for multitasking. According to Hayles, around thirty percent of students always do their homework while listening to additional media, for instance TV, music and IM. Hayles also notes that around thirty one percent of students sometimes do their homework while listening to additional media. Therefore, a big number of students are working on their assignments while attending to media.
Actually, interacting with only one type of media presents one with an opportunity to multitask. For instance, computer games call the player for doing more than one task in the same game. As Hayles quotes in the critique, “What about youngsters absolutely into manic attention who on the other hand spend long durations playing video games, focused on mastering entirely its complexities pending they attain the highest point of proficiency?” Thus, most young people multitask in search of stimuli. To be engaged in more than one activity concurrently gives more pleasure than engaging in one activity for long hours, which breeds boredom. Media makes every young person want to feel satisfaction from engaging in activities. As Hayles says, the significance of this perceptible paradox is in interactivity of the game and in its specific capability to give rewards whilst maintaining extreme levels of stimulus. Additionally, it is possible to engage in other types of media while carrying out one particular task such as a class assignment or homework. For example, an individual can listen to music while working on class assignment. Therefore, all media apart from print media breeds hyper attention in individuals. According to Hayles, the plasticity of the brain is an intrinsic biological trait; people naturally have the nervous systems geared up for reconfiguration in reaction to the surroundings. Therefore, it is evident that hyper attention in the developed states originated from the environment where the children grew.
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The social media are other determiners of the attention exhibited by the young people. The extent of interaction in the social media has gone up noticeably in the developed states. The young people keep in touch with the social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Being active in participating in the social media heightens one’s capacity to apply hyper attention. For example, an individual is required to read the comments posted by others as well as post comments by himself. Thus, it encourages the participants to multitask. In addition, participating in the social media gives satisfaction to the participants. Therefore, being tuned to the social media is a stimulus. Young people look for more appealing activities to engage in at the expense of less interesting activities. The social media, therefore, is more interesting to participate in, and the young people prefer it to other activities such as studying. Since people are the parts of the environment, then they are prone to adapt to hyper attention style that is dictated by this environment.
The economic activities have also contributed to hyper attention. The economy building activities, which are engaged in, in the developed countries demand multitasking. The industrialized states, have 24 hours running economy, therefore, the young learn from childhood to be active for long hours. For instance, people pursue their career interests at a very tender age. Therefore, as they learn and practice in their fields of interest, they are compelled by their careers to multitask. As Hayles writes the critique, ”the advancement of media into children’s bedrooms, such that they consume it mostly without parental involvement or supervision”. Since the parents are too busy on economic duties to get time to control what media the kids consume. Hayles also comments, “consider, for instance, an air traffic regulator who is watching several screens at the same time and should be capable to change activities quickly devoid of losing trail of any. Certainly, in such an occupation hyper attention is an asset”. With a rapid increase of such situations hyper attention is inevitable.
In general, one’s background shapes the attention style one exhibits in the future. The surrounding influences one’s response and attentiveness. In the developed states, children grow with a high machine interaction, which calls for more alertness. Being alert means to consider several situations simultaneously, giving every incident just apportion of time and attention. In these industrialized countries, most machines are automated. In order to operate them, one needs an intensified awareness of the surrounding. Therefore, there is no room for paying deep attention. On the contrary, all the things that happen around demand hyper attention. Although these developed states have improved their environment in terms of security in such a way that their citizens do not worry about different issues, the technological advancements require more attentiveness compared to the risky environment. According to Hayles, in the modern developed societies, that manic attention is further adaptive as compared to deep attention in most situations. Therefore, hyper attention is then more applicable in the current environment in the developed states. Therefore, youngsters have to acquire it regardless of its adverse impact on their studies.
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In conclusion, hyper attention is necessary, but it may be destructive if applied in all cases. In her article “Hyper and Deep Attention”, Katherine Hayles argues that the skills acquired from the video games are quite controversial, especially if applied in the modern society. Hyper attention has been associated with video games and, therefore, it is very beneficial condition in the current digital society. Hayles notes in the editorial that “the tendency for hyper attention certainly will almost pick up the pace as the years go by and the times demographic commence to encompass additional human beings of the Generation M.” According to the argument mentioned above, hyper attention has been on the increase in the developed states, but it ought to be controlled in order to increase its utility. According to the law of diminishing utility, the continuous uncontrolled increase of a variable lowers its usefulness. At the same time, hyper attention is quite destructive. As Hayles witnesses, ”These researches also point out that efficiency deteriorate so drastically with multitasking hence it is further time-efficient to handle several activities sequentially than make an effort to tackle them simultaneously”. Therefore, for more productivity, it would be advisable to handle one activity at a time. In a learning environment, it would be good for students to conform to the expectations of the tutors. In this case, therefore, the students should give the deep attention that is demanded by the school environment. In her article, Hayles says that it can be apposite to revolutionize the youngsters, but certainly the environment ought to modify as well. In this case, therefore, hyper attention need to be checked to ensure it remains as useful as possible. Better still, it will be a wise idea to revise the learning environment making it more flexible to benefit from the students’ hyper attention. Since hyper attention has advantages, then the curriculum environment should appreciate these benefits. Change never comes easy, and it will be difficult for the learning settings to incorporate hyper attention. However, the changes are followed by the improvement. In order to be inexorably resourceful and adaptable, students need to incorporate the two skills of hyper and deep attention.
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