Did you know ninety-seven percent of American adults send text messages every week, if not every day? Since 97% pretty much includes everyone, I guess it’s no surprise we send over six billion texts every day.
It gets worse, though.
Text messages have a ninety-nine percent open rate. We respond to a text in about ninety seconds!
Did you ever get annoyed when you got those telemarketing calls? Jerry Seinfeld had a cute bit on his T.V. show that addressed how we felt about these phone calls. Now with Caller ID we can ignore the phone and let it ring.
Our lives are full of distractions. Texts and notifications are the cause, and it’s getting worse.
The more distracted we are, the more distractible we become. Let me explain.
Humans are terrible at multitasking. What we do instead is what’s called “fast switching.” We start doing something and then get distracted by something else. So we stop what we’re doing and attend to the distraction. That process goes on in an endless cycle.
We get what?
Here’s the problem. When we get involved in distractions, we get dumber. Researchers show that when we “fast switch” our IQ drops by about 10 points. Distractions also slow us down by as much as 40%.
So…even though we think we’re efficient, we’re getting slower and more inefficient at the same time.
By responding to texts, we’re practicing distracting behavior. We’re practicing to be dumb and inefficient.
There is a physiological reason for this. We, humans, are wired for distractions.
When our ancestors peeked out of the cave, they were aware of distractions. Those who didn’t (like that lion hiding in the bush over there) are not our ancestors.
Think of the distractions that are beeping, tweeting, buzzing all day long!
It’s endless, isn’t it? It’s amazing we get anything done.
There’s one more principle that makes these types of distractions hard to resist. It’s the same principle that casinos use to take our money — the “Random Payout Principle.”
Waiting for the “big one”
Casinos know that the most profitable property on their floors is the slot machine. Can you imagine how tedious it would be if every tenth time, the device paid out the same amount of money? That’s why it pays a little here, then nothing, then a big payout, then nothing.
The “Random Payout Principle” keeps us pulling that little lever. That next pull will be the “big one.” Sorry, that’s called the “hot hand fallacy” in basketball. A player has made a series of baskets
but that doesn’t mean he’ll make the next one.
We keep checking our messages and notifications. We’re waiting for the next one will be the “big one.” Then it turns out to be only another cat video.
Here’s where all this applies to folks not learning to paint.
Folks buy a DVD from one artist. Then they buy another one from somebody else. Then they take a floral workshop with another. Then they decide they want to paint landscapes. They spend time jumping around from one teacher to another, one group to another, and one genre to another. And what is the result? They are no further along on their art journey than when they began.
Want to get off the merry-go-round? Want to learn to paint or learn to paint better? We know the way.
An expert artist who is also a master teacher can teach you more in one day than you can learn on your own in a year. Let him (or her) teach you to paint. Learn the principles of creating great art. Become a master of your destiny.