Before someone decides to point out my faux pas in the realm of political correctness, I actually do have ADD and may thus make whatever comments about it I so please.
This rant, too, can be blamed on my friend The Internet.
The Internet is a frightfully useful chap, ever helpful and vigilant. I would never dream of parting company with the fellow. He keeps me in contact with innumerable friends at once, brings me all the interesting tidbits of information I could desire to search for, and on occasion gives me silly people to laugh at/with.
However, I do believe The Internet has a dreadful habit of conditioning some people to a greater influx of data to keep track of than you really get in your day to day life. As I type this there are a number of other programs running feeding me the goings-on in various small fragments of the world relevant to my interests. I have a tab open in firefox with a forum I frequent. I have my cellphone close at hand for text message ping-pong with my girlfriend. I have two different PROGRAMS for instant messaging open and between the two I'm talking with seven people in three or four distinct conversations. I'm most irate that my email program is being moody, and worry that I'm missing out for it. Maybe I'll make up for it by opening facebook.
I am quite happily a child born to the illustrious fold of the Internet Using World, teeth cut on the spacebar of my father and all that. I'm going to be the last person to ever advocate restrictions of any sort put upon the internet. Even having to pay for it strikes me as unnatural. But we need some way to offset this conditioning so that we can function in boring conditions. In schools students have trouble staying focused on the traditional methods of teaching, and the teachers are responding by trying to make themselves more like digital means of information relay. The problem is that they can't. They're teachers. They can't present that sort of information in such a way that a student can divide their attention between that and their private conversations or whathaveyou, and guess what's more fascinating?
What I honestly think we need is more teachers sticking to the old way of things, with the intention of teaching us to handle less information at once as well as the vast floods of knowledge at our fingertips. After all, the devil's in the details.