When I sat down to write this blog, it was the most important thing on my agenda. Even so, I did just about everything I could think of to avoid the task. Facing a blank page, I figured I would just check my email first, or update my Facebook or Twitter, or check the morning headlines in The New York Times , or read the comments readers left overnight on earlier posts I'd done.
Something insidious has happened. The same device most of us use to get our primary work accomplished--a computer, a smartphone, an iPad, or some combination of the above--is also now the repository of endless distractions and every imaginable source of immediate gratification.
It's nearly impossible now to ignore the siren call of Google and YouTube, books and blogs, TV shows and movies, music and video games, email and texting, newspapers and magazines, and countless web sites and apps--always just a few clicks or keystrokes away as we settle in to work.
We're free to indulge our every whim, no matter how trivial, and that's exactly what we do.
The social critic Linda Stone calls this fractured form...