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wundayatta's avatar

Do you lose your attention even when something is of great importance to you?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) November 30th, 2010

Showers can be so boring. Like dead time. That’s why I turn the radio on and listen to the news. Except, half the time I get lost in the thoughts in my own head and only come to halfway through a story, wondering what the hell it’s all about.

Here’s another weird thing. The station I listen to always does the traffic report, an advertisement and then the weather. They always get the weather wrong, but that’s another story. The weather is very important to me because I ride my bike to work, and I really don’t like riding in the rain at night.

Anyway, I hear the traffic, and I pay attention even though I’m not interested because I know the weather is coming up. But the advertisement loses me, and I start thinking about…. whatever, and then when I come to, the weather report is almost over. I am very frustrated and wonder why this happens, over and over and over.

What up with that? Why do I lose it even though it’s important to me? Do you do anything like that on a regular basis? What is it?

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10 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

I don’t know about you, Wundy, but for me it’s just age related ditzoiditude. I’d rather blame it on short term memory issues caused by chemo, but too many of us in the same age range seem to be afflicted… what was I saying???

ucme's avatar

That’s an interesting thought, one I fully intend to….................

Summum's avatar

From listening to the radio you go into an Alpha brain wave pattern and then you lose what seems like a little time. We all have these moments and the sounds of the radio help cause yours.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I like that better than just being old and stupid, @Summum , I’ll go with that.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’ve been known to lose track of what I am saying right in the middle of a sentence. It’s not that unusual.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Totally, I have the attention span of a gnat!!!!!

DancingMind's avatar

All the time.
It’s like you step away from the TV for a moment and forget to pause it… only, it’s not that you forgot to pause, it’s that you can’t; and it’s not TV, it’s real life; and someone’s been talking at you for half an hour, and what were they saying again? because you disappeared into the world of your mind for what felt like a second and missed everything that happened while you were gone.
That’s happened to me so much I’ve gotten to the point where I can listen to a conversation for a few sentences and get the basic idea of what had been happening. I pretend like I was listening the whole time. Helps that I don’t say much even when I have been listening, though. So it never looks all that different.

wundayatta's avatar

Oh gosh, I find my attention switches to internal thoughts even when the person is right in front of me. Often I catch myself in time to say, “sorry, I missed what you just said” without feeling too embarrassed. I remind myself to focus and to keep those other thoughts out of my head, but if you know me, you know my mind seems to be whirling all the time, and the internal noise is so strong, it can be very difficult to focus on anything outside.

Sometimes, it’s the other way around. I have trouble focusing on my internal thoughts. Like here, when someone starts writing above me, it is very distracting. I want to know what they are going to say before I post, or I want to hurry up and post first because I don’t want to have to read what they say before I finish. Once I feel hurried, forget about it. I can’t focus on what I want to say.

AmWiser's avatar

I have a terrible time staying focused on one thing. My mind wanders constantly. I was thinking of getting it checked out. I hope I don’t have ADD.:(

Summum's avatar

I’m telling you that you are going between Beta and Alpha Brain wave patterns.

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