The perils of needing to know it all

Short attention span? Let's call it expansive, instead.

I'm one of nature's fidgeters. It's true. I can't sit in a chair without squirming, hooking my legs up underneath me or kicking itslegs. I'm a nightmare in cafés, and I simply can't relax and watch television without getting up to make tea, examine the contents of the fridge or hassle my cat.

(Sanssouci — I Love This Face image by Sherry, CC BY 2.0)

Seeing me finally quiet down with the television on, a laptop on one side, an iPad and knitting project on the other, one could argue that tech has given me a short attention span.

But, I would argue differently.

I've always craved stimulation. Ever since I learned how to read, I never went anywhere without a book to bury myself in if the situation arose (or if I got bored walking somewhere) — and a backup, just in case I finished the book I was currently reading, because that would have been an unbearable torture in the event of a train delay.

Then, I got my first Game Boy. It was yellow and blue, and had a picture of Pikachu, a Jigglypuff and a Togepi on the front. That joined the two (or three) books in my satchel, as well as one or two backup games (in plastic protective cases). You know, just in case.

Then came my Nokia 5110, which had Snake on it. Goodness. That would kill a few minutes on a bus. In went that, too.

I can't even tell you how excited I was when I got the new Kyocera Slider SE47 with Tetris. It was actually a pretty crappy phone, though. It ended up being retired in favour of the aforementioned 5110.

My satchel was upgraded to a backpack. Now I could fit in a sketchbook, too. And then, I got my first iPod; the 2005 gen-5 video version. Later, I got a Griffin iTalk Pro attachment kit, because by that time, I was doing a number of interviews and needed something on which to record them.

And, so, it went.

Then I got my first e-reader.

Oh, boy.

Suddenly, I was never going to run out of books. Ever again.

Until, I did. Or rather, it ran out of batteries. But then I got an iPod Touch and the Kindle app. I could put games on the iPod, it was also small, light and slid easily into a pocket. The backpack got downgraded back to a satchel.

Yeah, life was pretty good. Try to catch me being bored.

But then I had to get an Android phone — because you can't review Android apps without a device on which to test them, now, can you? And, how on earth was I going to play Ocarina of Time 3D, without a 3DS? Or Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, without a PlayStation Vita?

Then there are comic apps you simply have to read on an iPad

The backpack came back. With the satchel.

Yeah, I suppose one could argue that my attention span is pretty short. But I like to think that my very curious brain just wants to be stimulated by everything; there's always something happening and I always need to know. I barely give two thoughts about all the things I'm lugging around, every day — even if I never use half of them.

Besides, at the very least, they keep me sitting still.

 

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