the atlantic magazine

I received a free subscription to “The Atlantic” magazine. I’ve read two issues thus far and have fallen in love with real journalism and words. I think I’ve gotten so used to images, lots of images. People can’t focus much like they used to, so images are needed.

I like pretty pictures. But. I also like words. I have grown so used to not reading words, however. “Relentless” is how I would describe “The Atlantic.” There are very few ads and the articles in the magazine have at the minimum 1,000 words. Every article is good so to truly enjoy it, you must slow down and savor.

This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing that I kind of need.

When you’ve been blogging and online writing which is usually short and lead by subheadings and bold print for as long as I have, you can feel impatient with the pace that must come for writing to develop. You need things to happen right now. But not everything can happen right now. Sometimes, good things take a long time and require all of your attention.

I thought I was alone in this so I did a bit of research on the topic and found that I am not alone.

The more we are connected, the more distracted we are. Our ability to focus on words has deceased dramatically since the advent of the Internet.

And this is why I treat the Internet like sugar. I consume its beauty in small doses at a time. I used to go for quantity in my online session, but now it’s about quality. I want to leave thoughtful comments and read for deeper meanings that may be missed if I’m rushing too much.

I’ve gone off on a tangent but the point is the Atlantic is a writer’s magazine that is challenging me to focus more in a way I haven’t in a long time.


Do you also feel like you have less ability to focus since your time spent online?

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4 Responses to the atlantic magazine

  1. Only You says:

    I think so, Jessica, because I told myself an hour ago that I would log off and pick up my new novel to read, but here I am, still flitting from website to website…sigh.

    I can’t remember the wording but a while back they did say that kids’ brains are now wired differently, because of the way they look for and take in information. It’s virtually all via internet, and fast. My son’s school has them on internet-based reading programs but so far he’s too young to spend too much time on the internet. He’s reading lots of books the old fashioned way although some people argue that children need to be savvy with technology. I’m old fashioned, and I feel like I want to make sure he’s getting plenty of the old fashioned stuff. While the world is going techy fast, I don’t believe it’s necessarily better for our bodies or brains.

    Good for you for forcing this balance in yourself. I should check out the Atlantic 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      Yes! Good for you for ensuring that Fred takes the “old fashioned” route. I think there is something that we get from reading and holding materials that you really can’t get online. I think the Internet is good for a lot, but I think it inspires a kind of learning that is accelerated and, often, fragmented. I remember there being a lot of talk in my graduate program about the good of the Internet in encouraging layered learning via links and sidebars, etc. I do think these things are good and do make it easier for us to learn more, but I also think it has the effect of making it harder to focus on the things we really want to focus on. 🙂

  2. Only You says:

    Sorry, “forcing” isn’t the right word; I meant “ensuring” 🙂

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