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Monday, October 25, 2010

May I Have Your Attention Please!

Apex, NC 10-25-10

We recently attended the always spectacular North Carolina State Fair. It was the last day of this huge event and the weather was absolutely perfect. Naturally, thousands poured into the gates from every parking lot and every direction in the early afternoon. The Midway was packed completely full with people as we inched along. On both sides of this main walkway, the barkers were shouting their various services and wares. With each step, there was a different message with a continually changing volume stuffed with the background of music and non-intelligible noise. From a stimulus perspective, it was as humanly saturating as it was overwhelming to assess the reality of all of the things going on. Focusing was simply impossible; all we could do was forge ahead.

In this ever changing world of 24-7-365 information immediacy , our minds are continually at the State Fair of instant messages. I call it ADD. Everyone has this type of ADD today. It stands for “all data dumped”. We are so stimulated by everything from voice mail, to internet, to gadgetry, to satellite radio, that we miss truly important information; or we forget it passed our eyes and ears. Many of us get 50 phone calls or more a day, and we review hundreds of e-mails. Add in texts and chat, blended with the numerous face-to-faces, and it is a wonder we do not simply implode from all this daily toxic mass information.

I am still hunting for an e-mail from two weeks ago I simply just missed it from the flood of them that I get from five different accounts. I now only read a couple of lines of a long-winded e-mail before I blow it away mentally; too much information please. Just the facts Jack!

Looking back just a few decades ago, when our lives had no cell phones and computers and television had only three channels, we could tolerate the stimulus. If stress was a term back then, it wasn’t used in my family, even at Christmas. Overload back than came from the Sunday sermon, an overused party-line or from kids on the porch and in the backyard. Things were simple then. You could drive to the store and back with both hands on the wheel and without the distraction of anything more than an AM radio on the dash.

Since you probably stopped reading awhile back, I will continue this discussion very soon as a two- part article.

In the second part of “May I Have Your Attention Please”, I will discuss how to stand out as a business professional on the Midway of Stimulus Overload…Don't make the mistakes I did. Until then, take two aspirins; quit looking at your device at the light and stop texting! :)

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