If Lincoln had email

If the Internet is robbing us of our ability to sit and concentrate, without distraction, in a Lincoln log cabin style of intense focus, we must ask the obvious question: are we doomed to be a generation bereft of big ideas? Will we lose, over time, like some vestigial limb, our ability to focus on something difficult for extended stretches? As a graduate student, I’ve had to put in place what are, in essence, rigorous training programs to help pump up my attention span. It’s a huge struggle for me. Somehow, I imagine, if Lincoln was in my position, he wouldn’t be having this same problem.

~ Cal Newport from, https://www.calnewport.com/blog/2008/02/20/would-lincoln-have-become-president-if-he-had-e-mail/

I usually quote things I agree with whole-heartedly. This one is a little different. I like the topic Newport has raised and he brings up several good points, but my thinking differs a bit.

The Internet is only a tool. There’s nothing magical about how it works to change your brain, distract you, or [as I’m found of describing it] eat your face. The power of choice remains with each of us. What do we use the tool for? What things do we talk about? Whom do we associate with? What change are we creating?

The Internet is only a tool. Make what you will of that.