Initial Readings - 200110

Illustration by Rose Wong for The New York Times

I chose my capstone subject of “concentration” based on my previous experience as a competitive recurve archer and current involvement in  social media. While archery requires intense, sustained concentration, my use of social media and information has sapped my ability to concentrate. After narrowing down my capstone subject, I started reading to see how others addressed the topic. In particular, I found a concise overview and suggestion in the article “How to Actually, Truly Focus on What You’re Doing” by Tim Herrera in The New York Times. Herrera interviews Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, and they discuss deep work (focused concentration) versus shallow work (surface-level attention), especially within the context of a digital society. Considering the shortened attention spans that come with active online lives, deep work is more important now than ever to make sure that individuals can focus on what’s at hand, whether that’s work or leisure. With this framework in mind, I started to think about how I could best frame my project for an audience of digitally-connected, always-online individuals.

Question for today: What aspect of concentration will my capstone focus on?