Virginia Heffernan The Attention Span Myth Summary

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In Virginia Heffernan’s essay entitled “The Attention-Span Myth” she argues against the “ineffable quality” associated with the attention span (115). She sets up her numerous allusions to historical opinions on focus by mentioning that “In other eras, distractibility wasn’t considered shameful. It was regularly praised, in fact -- as autonomy, exuberance, and versatility. To be brooding, morbid, obsessive, or easily mesmerized was thought much worse that being distractible” (114). The case against the focused individual is practically unheard of. Children, and even adults, of the modern world are consistently being told that they need to focus, avoid distractions. No one even finds virtue in the easily distracted. Heffernan’s words serve to

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