When I got to class I was so excited. “Yes! I get to mess around on the internet for an hour and a half” is all that came to mind when I thought about what I had to do that day, but what I learned is that connecting with other people for that long is actually what virtual Hell looks like. The constant buzzing, tweeting, emailing I received made me never want to look at an electronic device again (or until the amount of attention I received electronically died down, which it did as soon as class was over). I was constantly overloaded with messages my brain felt like it went numb to every notification I received! Thank goodness for browser history, otherwise I probably would not be able to say what I did for that hour and a half.
Hayles writes in her paper Hyper and Deep Attention: The Generational Divide in Cognitive Modes the differences between hyper and deep attention in Today’s world, and with our class experiment my brain was in hyperactive hyper mode. I’d usually categorize my style of thinking in the deep attention- hardly aware of my surroundings because I’m too deep in thought, but on Tuesday it was the epitome of hyper attention. I felt like my eyes were darting back and forth from screen to screen. First looking at the line up for Bonaroo, then chatting with sorority sisters on Facebook, back to the English group chat to talk about Buzzfeed quizzes, then to twitter to tweet about how I have to tweet for the class #ENGL3490. This was the constant thought process, over and over, going back and forth; it was a workout for my brain, which is definitely out of shape when it comes to hyper attention.
Overall it was an adventure in itself because I always thought a class where we waste time on the internet was a dream come true. Turns out like Taylor Swift’s song “Blank Space” (yes I listened to that while participating in everything else in class) constantly commenting and using the media was a “nightmare dressed like a daydream.” Never again will I think constant electronic communication to be fun and exciting, but of course that doesn’t mean I won’t participate in it. No worries, I will still post clever tweets and find out who my celebrity Valentine should be (by the way, it’s Dave Franco in case you were wondering), but again, no more blowing up my computer, please.